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The History of the Tokotoko The History of the Tokotoko

Posted on by Lesley Armstrong

The Tokotoko, or ceremonial carved Walking Stick, are generally carried by those who have authority to speak on the Marae (Meeting House). Those who carry a Tokotoko are usually of importance or high rank within a tribe. 

The carving on a Tokotoko may represent a legend or ancestor and was passed down through the generations, normally given to the next in line and a new carving added to represent the owner. 

The Tokotoko Walking Stick represented the genealogy and history of the owner’s ancestry, and is much of a status symbol as it is a treasured family heirloom. 

Quite often in childhood you will hear stories from the Kaumatua (Maori Elders) who will wave around their Tokotoko and talk about their history and of the history of their Marae.  A lot of the time, not only are stories of that particular Tokotoko stick included but also about a Pounamu (Greenstone) Necklace or other important artifact that the elder still has with them.

tokotoko maori walking stick

The Tokotoko, or ceremonial carved Walking Stick, are generally carried by those who have authority to speak on the Marae (Meeting House). Those who carry a Tokotoko are usually of importance or high rank within a tribe. 

The carving on a Tokotoko may represent a legend or ancestor and was passed down through the generations, normally given to the next in line and a new carving added to represent the owner. 

The Tokotoko Walking Stick represented the genealogy and history of the owner’s ancestry, and is much of a status symbol as it is a treasured family heirloom. 

Quite often in childhood you will hear stories from the Kaumatua (Maori Elders) who will wave around their Tokotoko and talk about their history and of the history of their Marae.  A lot of the time, not only are stories of that particular Tokotoko stick included but also about a Pounamu (Greenstone) Necklace or other important artifact that the elder still has with them.

tokotoko maori walking stick

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