Story: Te Arawa

Pūkākī returns to Te Papa-i-Ouru marae, 1997

Pūkākī returns to Te Papa-i-Ouru marae, 1997

The carving of Pūkākī was held by the Auckland Museum for 120 years. During most of this time it was on display in the museum’s Māori court. When the Te Māori exhibition toured New Zealand and the United States (1984–87) Pūkākī came to represent Māori carving for many people. In 1997 the museum decided to gift Pūkākī back to Ngāti Whakaue. After a welcome (pictured here) at Te Papa-i-Ouru marae in Rotorua, Pūkākī was installed in the Rotorua District Council Offices, where windows provide an outlook onto the carving’s home of Te Pukeroa. The return of Pūkākī was part of a wider issue – the demand for the return of thousands of ancestral objects which sit in museums worldwide. Many of these artefacts were collected in dubious circumstances.

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Private collection, Paul Tapsell
Photograph by Hamish Macdonald

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How to cite this page:

Paul Tapsell, 'Te Arawa - Warfare and marriages', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 18 October 2021)

Story by Paul Tapsell, published 8 Feb 2005, updated 22 Mar 2017