Stop and Wander Tokoroa’s Talking Poles
“Tokoroa uses public art to encourage tourists travelling between Hamilton and Taupo to stop and wander around,” online magazine and travel site Atlas Obscura writes about the North Island town of 14,000.
“Wooden sculptures [Talking Poles] depicting the symbols of the cultures who call the town home dot the Central Business District, inviting tourists to stretch their legs in a place they otherwise may have driven straight through,” the site describes.
“The installations celebrate the town’s forestry history as well as its cultures, clubs, and organisations. Many of the sculptures were carved from local wood.
“The idea was first conceived in 1996. Since then, more than 40 sculptures have been constructed and scattered throughout the town. The aim is to have a total of 60, which will create an art trail for both locals and visitors to enjoy.”
According to Wikipedia, the talking pole pictured was “photographed shortly after its unveiling in 2004, [and] is a chainsaw carving of a deodar cedar which died from natural causes. It is representative of the Greenman in Welsh mythology and is located on State Highway 1, immediately adjacent to the town’s information centre”.
Tokoroa is the fifth-largest town in the Waikato region.
Original article by Atlas Obscura, July 9, 2019.