Papa hou - By Tim Codyre
Papa hou are treasure containers made by Māori. These treasure containers stored a person's most prized personal possessions, such as hei-tiki (pendants), feathers for decorating and dressing the hair such as the tail feathers of the huia, heru (hair comb) and other items of personal adornment.
Papa hou were imbued with the tapu (taboo) of their owners because the boxes contained personal items that regularly came into contact with the body, particularly the head.
Papa hou were designed to be suspended from the low hanging ceiling of the whare where their beautifully carved and decorated undersides could be appreciated. They were highly prized in themselves and carefully treasured as they passed between generations. As taonga Papa hou are often gifted between hapu (sub-tribes), whanau (families), and individuals to acknowledge relationships, friendships, and other significant social events.
Papa hou is a variation of the Waka Huia however it is generally a flat, rectangular box.
Length - 4730mm x Depth - 150mm x Height - 80mm
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