Definition of tekoteko in English:

tekoteko

nounPlural tekotekos

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’
    • ‘The tekoteko is a stylized representation of the main progenitor of a tribe.’
    • ‘Splinters ricochet from the one good eye of the tekoteko supine upon the floor.’
    • ‘There are two known Maori tekoteko which depict Mary and Jesus.’
    • ‘Another photographer's favourite will be the giant tekoteko (carved figures) around Eden Park.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He made the Auckland Museum tekoteko around 1845.’
    • ‘It’s never been established who carved the tekoteko displayed here.’
    • ‘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).’
    • ‘Both tekoteko are good examples of cultural exchange between Maori and Pakeha.’

Origin

Mid 19th century: Maori.

Pronunciation

tekoteko

/ˈtɛkəʊtɛkəʊ/