Wahine character jug produced by Titian Studio of Auckland, New Zealand, circa 1960. A wahine is a Maori woman, especially a wife. The word wahine came into English in the late 18th century from Maori, the language of a Polynesian people native to New Zealand, and today it is widely used throughout Polynesia and Hawaii. One story goes that Cameron Brown, founder of Titian Studio, modeled the Wahine character jug after a Maori woman he encountered as a teenager in a nearby village. The Wahine is a Maori kuia, or elderly lady. She has a moko, or tattoo, on her chin, is smoking a pipe, as a tiki shaped pendant around her neck, and a patu club or pounder handle.