Pou Whenua - Glen Eden Library

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Comments (2)

random west on November 20, 2007

It's not a totem pole, that would be offensive to maori.Its just a maori carving.

prhnz on December 1, 2007

Thanks for the comment, random west. I have changed the title to 'pou whenua', having obtained the publicity leaflet of the Glen Eden Library.

Quoting from this flyer: "The Pou Whenua is carved from a single piece of kauri timber and stands 6 metres tall. The top figure in a strong haka pose represents the time when power to hold life and land was mostly physical. The middle and bottom figures represent modern times, one of them being a sports player, the other represents learning. The three figures represent the history of the area and connect to, and value, the library as a source of information and knowledge in the modern age."

This pou whenua is by John Collins and Sunnah Thompson, Matariki Carvers, Te Kawerau A Maki.

Inasmuch as totem poles relate histories, stories, experiences, etc. it appears to me that totem poles and pou whenua are rather similar and I cannot see the offensive side in the concept of a totem pole. In fact, Te Ara - The Encyclopedia of New Zealand likens the two concepts in the linked article.

In any case, I have now found the correct designation for these poles in this country, and some information about the actual carving for eveyone's benefit. Thanks again.

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on July 18, 2007
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by prhnz
    • Camera: Panasonic DMC-FX01
    • Taken on 2007/07/08 12:47:25
    • Exposure: 0.004s (1/250)
    • Focal Length: 6.90mm
    • F/Stop: f/7.100
    • ISO Speed: ISO80
    • Exposure Bias: 0.00 EV
    • No flash