We custom made these Toki for the All Blacks RWC Squad.
Te Toki Awhiorangi is an adze, one of the most sacred possessions of the Maori people. It is said Te Āwhiorangi to have been used by the god Tānemahuta to cut the sinews that bound Ranginui (the sky) and Papatūānuku (the earth) which brought light into the world. To Maori and other cultures, Te Āwhiorangi became a symbol of mana for all Toki ever made.
The Toki originated from the toki poutangata which was a war adze, though it was rarely used in battle. Like the mere pounamu, it was carried by chiefs to symbolise their authority. It was owned by chiefly families and people with high status among their people which is why we used the Toki for the All Blacks, and felt the Toki best suited them and their journey's. These Toki will not only be worn during their 2023 season but will be with them when they return to their families, hapu, marae, maunga and rivers. The taonga brings Mana as is passed on through generations and each piece embodies a different spiritual gift that is bestowed upon the wearer.
The stone also connects each one of them as all 58 pieces were made from the same material; 70 pounds of dark Kawakawa Pounamu, from the Arahura River. Kawakawa Pounamu is the strongest and darkest form of pounamu. It is not usually translucent and occasionally has black flecks through the stone. It shares its name with the New Zealand native Kawakawa plant, which is known for its medicinal and culinary properties.
Originally, the Toki was carved in greenstone and the handle in wood. Upon the death of its owner, the special handle was buried with them while the pounamu blade remained with the tribe. Once it had been decided who would succeed the chief, another handle was fashioned and lashed to the adze.
"Whakamorehia a Poutini kia hua ai te Wananga"
These Toki were designed and carved by our head carver Niki Nepia of Tuhoe, Ngati Manawa, Ngati Whare and Ngati Porou decent with the help of Kai Whakairo of Puawai Jade (Arapo Whata).