Toi Ora: Ancestral Māori Treasures

Editors: Huhana Smith and Arapata Hakiwai
Publication date: November 2008
NZ RRP (incl. GST): $44.99
Extent: 196 pp
Illustrations: 120 full-colour plates
Format: 240mm x 210mm
Binding: PB
ISBN: 978-1-877385-34-6

Out of print.

This exceptional book highlights over 120 taonga tuku iho (ancestral Māori treasures) from Te Papa’s collections. Rich images of these precious objects are accompanied by stories from the artists who created the taonga, the people who used them in daily life, and their living descendants.

Items include traditional carvings, weapons, waka huia (treasure containers), jewellery, and taonga such as puppets used by tohunga (ritual experts) and tools for tā moko (customary skin marking).

Maps, diagrams, and additional photographs – both archival and contemporary – elaborate on the making of the taonga, and elucidate Māori life, art, and beliefs.


‘Of interest and value to both a New Zealand audience and one less familiar with Māori culture, this is much more than just a striking coffee table tome, though it is certainly that as well.’
– Amy Macpherson, Heritage Key Online, May 2009

Toi Ora: Ancestral Māori Treasures is a stand-alone book ... It is the beautifully presented images that make this book so exceptional.’
– Charlie Holland, Te Roopu Raranga Whatu o Aotearoa, May 2009