|Hec sketching a Tauihu out of a Kauri chunk. Another waka tete tauihu acts as our model.|
|Hec and I chiseling the Tauihu once we know our basic shape.|
|Opo drawing on our center line|
|Getting our pattern drawn for the spashboard, finished Taumanu (thwarts) are visible in the background|
A splash board is added to the back using engineering minds and persistence to perfection to sit it just right over the rawawa and the piway (the black pieces made to secured the lashed gap).
|designing the splashboard|
The taurapa (vertical standing back piece), is a gorgeously carved piece that has both function and philosophical importance. Important patterns such as genealogy cultural stories, uses of the canoe and religious intentions can be carved into the sides of the waka. Each symbol on the vertical piece has an intricate and heavy story to tell. Opo showed me some of these patterns as he did the finished touches on this taurapa. Again, as in so many experiences in my travels, I am humbled by how litttle I know and how much there is to know in our incredibly interesting world. I am grateful for the Maori friends who have showed me a little of their world and the incredible arts they are keeping alive. Just as a taurapa stands tall to show what those in the canoe are all about, it literally holds the canoe steady in the wind. That is what the Maori waka builders and carvers do for Maori-dom today, standing tall for who they are, the land which is theirs, and keeping the canoe of culture steady into the future.
|An unfinished Taurapa|