Te Puna Wai MataurangaThe Blossom of Knowledge


Bob Koko



  • Carving
  • Whakairo


  • Wood


  • H3400 x W1300 x D300mm

Bob Koko, 'Te Puna Wai Matauranga / The Blossom of Knowledge' (1993), University of Waikato, Kirikiriroa Hamilton

Image: Bronwyn Holloway-Smith, Public Art Heritage Aotearoa New Zealand, 2022


A plaque installed with the work reads:

“Knowledge is no good without the wisdom to apply it properly"

"Tāwhaki was a celebrated hero of Polynesia, sometimes appearing as a mortal and sometimes as a deity, but generally having supernatural powers and being depicted as gracious and generous. His fame enabled him to marry Tangotango, a celestial maiden who quarreled with him and fled back to her heavenly home, with their child. He set out with his brother Karihi to find her, looking for the vine which would help him to find his family. Matakerepo, a blind ancestress showed him the way after he had restored her sight. In the carving, Tawhaki is shown grasping the vine with the bolt of lightning - the symbol of his divinity impressed upon his being. He is believed, by some tribes, to have brought the gifts of knowledge and religion to mankind, from the tenth realm of Rehua."

This whakairo was carved from macrocarpa.