28 Feb 2012

Carved poutokomanawa returns after 100 years

8:45 pm on 28 February 2012

A traditionally carved rimu post has been returned to New Zealand after being abroad for more than a century.

The 1.3 metre high centre post, also known as a poutokomanawa, supports the ridge pole of an ancestral house.

It was designed by carver Anaha Te Rahui. In 1864 he was acknowledged as the leader of Ngati Tarawhai and led many Te Arawa campaigns on behalf of the government.

The carving has returned to New Zealand from Italy, where it was part of a joint Italian and United States private collection.

It's due to be part of Webb's Oceanic and African Art Auction in March, and the owners hope it will fetch $80-100,000.

If it is not successfully auctioned, it will return to the collection in Italy.