Tekoteko ; Devonshire, Charles; 1938; MT2012.82.1



About this object

Tekoteko; (carved figure on the gable of a house). In 1937 a group of Mataura locals built a monument and whare (Te Wairua) at Tuturau to mark the centennial of Te Pūoho’s raid, the decisive event of which occurred in Tuturau in December 1836. The centennial celebrations were delayed a year due to a polio outbreak. This tekoteko sat on top of the whare.

The NZ History website tells the story of this Musket Wars raid. Over 3,000 people attended the opening of the monument and whare. A feature article detailing the Centennial committee's work and the opening of the monument appears in the Mataura Ensign dated 6 December 1937.

The carver was Charles Devonshire, a pakeha from Kirwee in Canterbury, who had an interest in the Tuturau reserve. The Hesselin family rescued it from vandals and later donated it us.


Devonshire, Charles

Maker Role


Date Made


Place Made

New Zealand, South Island, Southland, Tuturau

Medium and Materials

organic, vegetal, wood
organic, animal. shell, paua

Inscription and Marks

White label reads, 'TEKOTEKO / Carved figure on gable of Whare / Tuturau Reserve 1938 / Carved by C. Devonshire.'


h 740mm x w 140mm x d 120mm

Subject and Association Keywords


Subject and Association Keywords


Credit Line

From the collection of the Mataura and Districts Historical Society Incorporated

Object Type

art work

Object number


Copyright Licence  

All rights reserved

This object is from