Maori Letter Blocks
The Māori Alphabet blocks were created as a collaborative project between Johnson Witehira and Pete Bultman from Michigan-based company, Uncle Goose. The blocks were developed as part of Witehira’s Doctorate Research into contemporary Māori design practice.
The 24 letter blocks feature the Māori alphabet (with macronised letters) alongside numbers, math symbols, poupou figures and tukutuku patterns. The figures can be stacked atop one another and when arranged side-by-side they resemble the arrangement of carved anestors and tukutuku seen in whare (Maori meeting-houses).
Designed as visual learning aids, the blocks also help tamariki (children) learn about whakairo (carving) and the creation of Te Ao Marama. Atua (deity) on the blocks; Tāne-mahuta, Rongomatāne, Tangaroa, Haumia-tiketike, Tūmatauenga and Tāwhiri-mātea, can be used to tell the Māori genesis narrative of the separaton of Ranginui and Papatūānuku. Each of the atua is also rendered in a different Māori carving styles. Those styles found on the blocks include; Te Tai Hau-ā-uru, Hauraki, Tāmaki-makaurau, Te Arawa, Whānau-a-Apanui and Tūranga.
Purchasing the Maori Alphabet Blocks:
For those in interested in purchasing the blocks, they can be found at a number of retailers throughout New Zealand. For quick and easy on-line purchase of the blocks I recommend Endemic World.
Retailers interested in stocking the blocks, please contact our New Zealand distributor, Logical Toys.