Location: Mannering Street/Bridge Street corner (outside ANZ Bank)
Materials: Totara, on concrete
Artists: Jules Rameka & Pete Tahere
Definition of Name:
Umbilical Cord – The umbilical cord is a means of connection between the developing embryo/foetus with the placenta from the mother.
Interpretation of Definition:
The umbilical cord is seen as a life line to the mother as it is through this that the developing child gets its crucial nutrients for growth and development within the womb.
Meaning of the Sculpture/Carving:
This sculpture represents the single cord or life line for the many different cultures that come together in Tokoroa. The sculpture is used to demonstrate the strong connection between the people and Tokoroa, they are brought together through their needs and through their love for their community. The cutting of the cord demonstrates the independence of an individual, although the love still remains intact. This is similarly to the Tokoroa people being individuals but coming together to build a community and relying on each other and the land of Tokoroa.
The material used for this piece is Totara. The log used for this Talking Pole was donated by the Te Putahitanga O Nga Ara Trust.
Totara wood is red, straight-grained and easy to work; although rather brittle, it is one of the most durable timbers known. In the early days of European settlement Totara was used extensively for house piles, house frames and for fence posts. Being resistant to teredo worm, it was also used in the piling of many early wharves.
To the Maori people the Totara was a symbol of strength and goodness. From these trees they made their canoes and their carved whare whakairo, pataka and food boxes. The bark was used for thatching and for making storage vessels.
Jules is from Tuwharetoa, and Pete is Ngapuhi. They have picked up this piece again, after working on it in the 2004 symposium, where they also assisted on the carvings which are at each end of the Wananga frontage.
The piece will eventually have a bowl on the top, and when it fills up with rain water, it will spill down the spiral they have carved. There are lots of different faces carved on the piece, some of the other artists whom carved these were Bernard, Donald, Iman, and Treaty Moetu. The lei pattern on the base was inspired by the group’s visit to the Pacific Island Church.