Sunday, June 3, 2012


On Saturday, 2 June 2012, we visited a man in the Hastings 2nd Ward, Taka Walker, someone we had previously only known (and admired) as the ward mission leader.  We found out that Brother Walker is also a master carver, close to 80 years old, who has been asked by the Church to do some huge wood panels for the Maori marae at the Polynesian Cultural Center in Hawaii.  The original carvings (about 50 years old now) have been infected with wood-eating bees and need to be replaced.  Brother Walker is the only carver still living who worked on the original project.  Because he is under contract by the Church, no pictures can be put on internet sites like Facebook until the panels are installed, so I can't put pictures on our blog either, but here is a picture of Brother Walker and some of the other wood carvings he has done.

This is a Maori chief and his wife, each carved out of one huge block of wood.  The chief is 9 feet tall, his partner 8 feet tall, and he represents a great grandfather of Brother Walker's 19 generations back.  The Maori people learn to recite their genealogy back through all these generations and call it their whakapapa (fah-kah-pah-pah)..."wh" in Maori is always pronounced like an "f".   The wife has a cloak of kiwi-bird feathers, and each feather is hand-carved.  The painting around her mouth (or chin) is called the moko, and we still see Maoris today with mokos.  Interestingly enough, today's mokos are basically just tattoos, but in the early days, these mokos were carved into their faces with a albatross bone, leaving the skin with grooves rather than a smooth surface.   Owwwwwww!!!!

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