Wakahuia Manu by John Collins
'Wakahuia' lidded vessel in bird form hand carved by John Collins. New Zealand Kauri wood, stained. 650 x 170 x 160 mm.
Notes: Wakahuia are sometimes referred to as 'treasure' or 'feather' boxes, as they were used to store small items of high personal value, including feathers used for adornment, and carved Pounamu ( nephrite jade ) artefacts. Wakahuia could be hung suspended on 'Muka' ( flax fibre cord ) to keep them and their precious contents up out of reach. The underneath is carved in detail as they are viewed from below when hung.
Traditional shapes of Wakahuia are generally rectangular or ovoid. The bird like form of this work is unique, and relates to John Collins work towards restoring and protecting a coastal forest habitat near his home.