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Carving is a universal artform.
The Maori people carved implements, tools, human forms and functional items. Each had their purpose in society.
To protect and fight in battle, to enhance their faith system and to sustain their families. 


Carving is the cornerstone of the work we share at the Vananga. It's the true essence of the knowledge transfer between master and apprentice.

Part of learning to carve is understanding the meaning of the motifs, patterns and designs used to adorn the item. Each motif we use and teach has meaning, a historical use and a story behind it's composition.

Our ancestors were courageous, curious and creative. 

We carry on this legacy and share it with aro'a (love) and a deep respect for our Ai Tupuna (ancestors). 

It is here that we begin the sharing of our
indigenous knowledge.


Pate (pah-teh) Slit Drum

Its the heart of any ura (dance). From alerting the village, challenging other tribes, to winning over a ladies heart,
it starts with a strong beat.

You can learn to carve your own pate with us. During your learning we teach you how to use the tools and about traditional motifs and patterns and their meanings.

Contact us if you are interested in booking a

Pate Carving session (fees apply).



Kumete (coo-meh-teh) Bowl


The center of a kaikai (any meal eaten). For making vairakau (plant medicine). A symbol of service.

The kumete brings together the village in
celebration, to heal and nourish.


The kumete plays an important role in
Cook Islands Culture.


Please contact us if you would like to come and learn how to carve a Kumete. 


We are able to offer carving lessons for both adults and children.

For our lessons with children, 

we suggest that they carve a traditional Cook Islands drum or a bowl.


Adults can carve a Pate, Kumete, Oe (Paddle) or even a Korare (traditional spear) with tuition from our carvers.

Get in touch with us if you are interested to know more or if you would like to

 register for a lesson.

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