This collection of Tekoteko - an ancestor figure which is found in either freestanding form or attached to the gable of a whare (house) features works in a variety of media made principally for the tourist market dating back to the early twentieth century. This collection belongs to distinguished curator, collector and writer Mick Pendergrast.
These works were made principally for Pakeha and Pendergrast describes them as having their 'origins shrouded in mystery'. These works would most likely have been purchased as a memento of a special place or time. Unlike the authority of the traditional Tekoteko - which derives from their subject - the significance of these anonymous and mysterious figures might be seen to derive from their owners' memories.
Pendergrast started collecting these works because they were affordable and easy to come by. With the passage of time works such as these are now sought after by collectors and are particularly interesting examples of the changes in carving over the last century.