Hand Carved Papa Hou - by Caleb Robinson
Hand carved by Caleb Robinson (Ngai Tahu)
39cm long x 20cm wide x 12cm high
Waka huia and papa hou are treasure containers for storing prized personal possessions, such as hei tiki, feathers for decorating the hair, and other items of personal adornment. Waka huia and papa hou were imbued with the tapu (taboo) of their owners because they contained personal items that regularly came into contact with the body, particularly the head (the most tapu part of the body).
Waka huia and papa hou were highly prized in themselves and carefully treasured as they passed between generations. As taonga, waka huia and papa hou were often gifted to acknowledge relationships, friendships, and other significant social events.