Waka tete / fishing canoe (Waikato)

Production date
Late 19th Century
This waka tete (fishing canoe) made of totara wood, was uncovered from a swamp in the Cambridge area adjacent to the Waikato River. In the area of discovery, there are three paa sites: Te Miro, Maungatautari and Karapiro. This waka is probably dated circa 1860–1880. What makes it unique is the carved handle at the rear. The stretchers have probably been replaced at a later date and would have been renewed several times in the life of the craft.

This type of waka was likely to be used by members of a small hapu for fishing, flax gathering and the collection of watercress and puha. A portion of one side has been cut away to allow older passengers to get in and out of the waka.
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Object detail

Production date
Late 19th Century
Wood canoe, totara
5900 x 620 x 300mm
Department collection type
Credit line
Trust Waikato Art and Taonga Collection
Accession number


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