Paki Harrison : Tohunga Whakairo : the Story of a Master Carver
Paki Harrison is widely regarded as New Zealand's greatest living master carver, a man with a huge reputation as a leading tohunga of the art form. He possesses immense knowledge about the traditional arts of the carver, extending way beyond the actual physical arts to include its most ancient aspects - the symbolism contained in Maori art, to its role in transmitting old tribal history. Few know more about the symbolism of the waka taua (war canoe), whare whakairo (carved meeting houses) and kowhaiwhai patterns. Harrison is responsible for carving 10 of the most important new North Island meeting houses in recent years, in particular the outstanding house at the University of Auckland marae. He has also taught and written extensively on the art of the tohunga whakairo. This major biography by Ranginui Walker, himself a well-known public figure, traces Paki Harrison's life and work, from his privileged upbringing in the Ngati Porou household of his grandmother, where he was singled out for special training. The carving and building of several big meeting houses is described in detail, from the inside.
- Paperback | 256 pages
- 27 Oct 2008
- Penguin Group (NZ)
- Penguin Books (NZ)
- Auckland, New Zealand
Ranginui Walker is a prominent Maori academic, commentator, writer and administrator. He is the author of the best-selling Ka Whawhai Tonu Matou: Struggle Without End, a history of Maori, as well as a number of other books. He is currently a member of the Waitangi Tribunal.