Tahu Williams lives in a small rural area of the Waikato district on the North Island. Being from the Waikato, his Iwi or tribal affiliation is to the Tainui. Tahu, like most of the top carvers, comes from a long family tradition of bone carving which he is passing on to his children.
Carving is not only a wonderful practical skill to pass on, but also is a way of promoting traditional values and giving the young ones a sense of pride and respect in their culture. Tahu has become well known as a teacher of traditional craft and has earned the respect of not only his young students, but also of the local community as a whole for his dedication to preserving the culture and craft of his people.
Like most rural Maori, Tahu and his family live a traditional life style on the land with their extended family which includes uncles, aunts, parents and grandparents, all in one home. Also, like all true traditional crafts people, Tahu believes that every piece he carves carries with it part of his spirit and every design tells a story.
In traditional culture the family is sacred above all else and carving is used to pass down the stories of the ancestors, the great migration, the spirits and mother earth to the young. Many of his designs mirror the ancient styles depicting the spirits and legends of his homeland. His work reflects a great respect for nature and the bonds between the natural, spiritual and ancestral realms.