Definition of tekoteko in English:

tekoteko

noun

NZ
  • A carved human figure that adorns the gable end of a Maori meeting house.

    ‘these structures may be enriched with carved tekotekos’
    ‘he points up to the tekoteko and says it is because of it that we are related’
    • ‘Your eye would be drawn to the carved tekoteko, or ancestral figure that stands guard over the entrance of every carved house in this country.’
    • ‘Another photographer's favourite will be the giant tekoteko (carved figures) around Eden Park.’
    • ‘Both tekoteko are good examples of cultural exchange between Maori and Pakeha.’
    • ‘It’s never been established who carved the tekoteko displayed here.’
    • ‘The tekoteko is a stylized representation of the main progenitor of a tribe.’
    • ‘There are two known Maori tekoteko which depict Mary and Jesus.’
    • ‘He made the Auckland Museum tekoteko around 1845.’
    • ‘Splinters ricochet from the one good eye of the tekoteko supine upon the floor.’
    • ‘Giving Maori people the crumbs at the second level is a nonsense, and we've made it quite clear we are not interested in being a tekoteko (i.e. symbolic figurehead).’
    • ‘The tekoteko on the rooftop in front of the house represents the head, and the maihi (front barge boards) are the arms held out in welcome to visitors.’

Origin

Mid 19th century: Maori.

Pronunciation

tekoteko

/ˈtɛkəʊtɛkəʊ/