Chatham Islands: Hapupu Reserve Carved Trees

Hapupu Reserve is one of only 2 national historic reserves in entire New Zealand and dependent territories. The reserve protects ancient trees carved by Moriori people that inhabited Chatham Islands in pre-European times. The carving technique is still not very well understood as it was more like pressure imprinting then carving. There used to be around 80 trees with carvings, but only less the a dozen remain at this point. And they are quite spectacular and mysterious, akin to geoglyphs in Peru. The symbols depicts faces and fish and albatrosses. The carving are called “rakau momori” in Moriori language, meaning “tree carvings”. Scientifically these types of carvings are called “dendroglyphs”.