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I have always found Tekoteko incredibly powerful figures. And often feel a heightened sense of emotion in their presence. But nothing like I felt when I saw the remains of Kapene and Turikatuku’s beautiful Taonga.

In 2021, friends and master carver Kapene Alexander and his wife Turikatuku’s house burnt to the ground. They lost everything, including sacred carvings of their most important ancestors. Almost.

What remained was a reminder of resilience and pain. But stoic pride. And as the culture they represent, they now stood before me brutally scarred from punishing events, yet more powerful than ever before.

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