With striking artwork, sustainably sourced wood and use of te Reo alphabet, these make a stunning and relevant gift for a kiwi kid.
These blocks have been created by UncleGoose and Wellington artist Johnson Witehira. The printed wooden blocks feature the te Reo alphabet, alongside traditional carving patterns and figures from six iwi around the country. The figures can be stacked atop one another, like pou on a marae. They are interchanged with tuku tuku patterns and letters.
24 blocks in a set, 1.75" cubes (44mm)
JOHNSON, THE DESIGNER SAYS:
In creating the Māori alphabet set with Unclegoose, I thought that it would be great if we could use them not just for learning the letters, but as a way to learn about the important carving styles.
With this in mind, I decided that the carved figures should be the children of Rangi and Papa. For Māori children, knowing who these figures are and the narrative about the creation of Te Ao Marama and Te Ao Turoa is very important.
Considering this, the six different carved figures created are Tāne Mahuta, Tangaroa, Tāwhirimātea, Haumia-tiketike, Rongomātāne and Tūmatauenga. Each figure holds an item relevant to his character.
For example, Tūmatauenga, auta o te pakanga, holds a wahaika (a Māori weapon), while Rongomātāne, atua o te kumara me rangimarie, holds a kumara.
UNCLE GOOSE, THE PRODUCER SAYS:
...While we're a playful lot, we’re also socially and environmentally considerate. We source our products using fast-growing sustainable basswood. And Uncle Goose uses non-toxic, child-safe inks on all our blocks.