Māori creative arts like weaving and carving celebrate the past and continue to evolve through fresh inspiration and new materials.

Toi, or Māori visual art, centres around four primary art forms; weaving, carving, tattooing, and painting. 

These art forms are much more than mere decorations. Māori art is highly spiritual and before Europeans arrived in New Zealand, carvings, woven tapestries and tattoos captured and conveyed information about history, ancestors and legends. 

Where can you see Māori art? 

You can get a closer look at Māori art forms at cultural centres and studios throughout New Zealand. One such place is Te Puia in Rotorua, which allows visitors into its weaving and carving schools to watch the artists at work.

Many art galleries throughout the country sell work by prominent Māori artists, and both traditional and modern Māori art is sought by collectors worldwide. For a look at historic Maori art pieces, visit museums like Te Papa and the Auckland Museum.

However you choose to experience the Māori arts, you're sure to be intrigued and inspired. You may even find a special taonga (treasure) to take home.