Meaning of the Sculpture/Carving
Fashioned after a traditional Maori walking stick, Tokotoko is one of the original Talking Poles. The carving works represents the four elements: fire, water, air and earth. Most people who have spent time on a marae will have memories of seeing great Maori speakers using their Tokotoko to make a point in their speech. This carving represents that essence of authority, but showing the artists story on the Tokotoko (walking stick).
|Location||Leith Place/SH 1 median near Swanston Street|
|Material||Pine, Set in ground|
|Artists||Group of local carvers|
Definition of Name
Tokotoko – Maori word for walking stick.
Interpretation of Definition
In Maori tradition, Tokotoko (a ceremonial carved walking stick) is a symbol of authority and the status of a speaker on the Maori Marae (meeting place). It tells the story from which that authority comes from.
About the Materials
The wood used for this carving is Pine. There are about 120 differing species of the pine tree, the particular pine of this carving is unknown. Pine trees are generally native to a majority of the northern hemisphere, although pines have been grown in some areas in the southern hemisphere, including New Zealand. Pine trees live for a long time some are as old as 1,000 years. The pine tree is one of the more commercially used wood, it makes excellent timber for building. Pines can also be used for Christmas trees and decorative uses.
The creators of this piece were a group of local Tokoroa carvers, this piece is one of the earliest carvings for the Tokoroa Talking Poles project. The project was first suggested in 1996 as a feature for the town’s retail area upgrade. The project was enthusiastically supported by residents and to date, over 40 poles are on display. Eventually, there will be over 60 poles arranged in a trail, with more hopefully, from these artists in the future whose skill and passion for their craft has no doubt had an effect on the people living in the community. This pole and others are located mainly around the central shopping areas in Tokoroa.