'Titiro whakamuri, kōkiri whakamura' 'When you understand the past, you know your future'
Contribution from Tauranga Heritage Collection
Te Awanui Waka Restoration Compiled by Dean Favell, Tauranga Heritage Collection
The ceremonial waka Te Awanui, carved by Tuti Tukaokao in 1973, has undergone a number of restorative phases throughout its 46 years.
Time is a great leveller and wood, a most vulnerable material, does succumb to natural conditions such as temperature, light, water and probably the most unforgiving, wear and tear from usage. In the past much of the restoration has been to address various accidents or misfortunes. As a result of these repair attempts protective coatings such as polyurethane and non-marine paint rendering have obscured the detail of the carvings. Te Awanui is now under the care of the Tauranga Heritage Collection and over the past few years’ restoration efforts have focussed on the carved Tauihu (bow) and Taurapa (stern) pieces. With those complete, attention turns to the hull of the waka. Plans are currently being made to move the hull from its shelter house on The Strand into temporary storage, where it will be worked on to give it new life. That this should coincide with Matariki, Maori New Year, is timely.
Please click on each image for the full explanation