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Kanohi

Kanohi Masks of Power were items vital to the survival of the Matoran and the power of the Turaga and Toa. Kanohi was a Matoran word meaning "mask." Kanohi masks were created using Kanoka disks and were made in Ta-Metru in Metru Nui.1

Notes

On Mata Nui, there were 36 Great Masks in total, six for each Toa.2

When not worn, Great Kanohi Masks took on a dull, gray color. As soon as a Toa put it on, it would change to that Toa's color. The Toa felt a rush of power when he or she put on a new Great Kanohi mask.3

Kanohi, including the Vahi, glowed when in use. When summoning the Vahi, Tahu's mask morphed from its usual shape into the orange Vahi.4

Kanohi Nuva also appeared a dull grey when not being worn.5

The Toa Nuva could "shift" from one Kanohi Nuva to the other.5

Kanohi were also called Masks of Power.5

Disks found to be of the right purity and power level were forged into Masks of Power.6

No matter how many hours of work had gone into a mask, a single, tiny flaw could ruin it. Then it would be transported to the Protodermis Reclamation Center, to sit on top of a pile of other broken, useless masks until it could be fed to the furnace and melted down. A flawed mask could look perfect to the naked eye, its flaws visible only to a truly skilled crafter.6

Nuhrii once fantasized about having a Mask of Power named after him, suggesting that masks may have been named after certain individuals.7

Vakama had spent his whole life working alone at his forge, crafting protodermis into Matoran masks and Masks of Power. It required patience, skill, and dedication.8

When the Toa Metru were attacked by Morbuzakh seeds, the vines reached for their masks; if those were lost, they realized, then so were they.9

On Metru Nui, Kanohi Masks of Power were made from Kanoka disks. Kanoka with power levels 1 to 6 were made into Matoran masks, because the power leeched away during the mask-making process. Power level 7 disks were made into Noble Masks of Power. Power level 8 disks were made into Great Masks of Power like those worn by Toa.10

On Metru Nui, a small number of highly skilled Ta-Matoran earned the privilege of becoming mask makers. They were responsible for creating every Kanohi Mask of Power in the city, from the ones worn by Matoran to the Great Masks worn by Toa. Kanoka disks were used to make masks. There were two methods used to make Kanohi masks. In one method, a Matoran took a disk, melted it down, and poured the molten protodermis into a mask mold. After it cooled, it was removed from the mold, and any flaws were pounded out by the mask maker. A skilled crafter could spend many days at his forge trying to a get a mask just right. In the other method, a mask maker combined two or more Kanoka disks into one. He then carved the Kanohi from the disk using a mask-making tool, which resembled a small torch. Combining Kanoka disks allowed the mask maker to create new mask powers. After a mask was done, it would go to any one of a number of places. If it was a Noble or Great Mask, it was sent to Ga-Metru and placed in the Great Temple. If it was a Matoran mask, it was sent to Po-Metru for finishing and distribution. If the mask was flawed in some way, it was sent to the protodermis reclamation yard in Ta-Metru to be melted down.11

The Kanoka disks of the winning teams of akilini tournaments were immediately transported to Ta-Metru to be turned into Kanohi masks. This was considered to be a great honor by Matoran athletes.12

To make a mask, Vakama would put a Kanoka disk in the forge, then wait for the fire to soften the disk. When the time was right, he took it out and began to shape it with his firestaff. Molten protodermis was the raw material that was fed into the forge to be shaped into disks, and later into masks, if the grade of disk was high enough.13

As a Matoran, Vakama was not able to access the powers of a Great Mask, but while wearing it he could at least get a sense of whether it was active.13

Great Masks glowed when their power was activated. Onewa's mask once activated unbidden when he was in danger of being eaten by a troller.13

Use of a mask power required a high level of mental discipline and willpower. For this reason, Turaga were no longer able to use Great Masks despite having once been Toa, and Matoran could not use mask powers at all.1

There were three known types of Kanohi mask:1

Matoran Masks
Matoran wore Kanohi which had no extra powers. However, wearing them was essential for Matoran, as having a mask off for too long could lead to a condition resembling a coma. Matoran masks were fashioned to look like Great and Noble Masks. They were made from Kanoka disks with a power level of 6 and under.1
Noble Masks
Noble Masks were less powerful than Great Masks, commonly worn by Turaga and also used by Toa. Noble Masks were made from Kanoka disks of power level 7. Noble Nasks were stored in the Great Temple of Metru Nui. The Toa Metru brought Noble Masks from Metru Nui to Mata Nui.1
Great Masks
Great Masks could be used effectively only by Toa. They were made from Kanoka disks of power level 8. Great Masks were stored in the Great Temple of Metru Nui. The Toa Metru brought an assortment of these masks to Mata Nui and hid them in various spots on the island.1

Extremely powerful masks like the Vahi and Ignika were considered Legendary Masks.1

When not worn, Kanohi masks of power changed to a dull color.14

The shape of a mask had nothing at all to do with its power. Traditional shapes were usually adhered to just to help identify which power a mask had.15

It is not known if the mask-making process outside of Metru Nui involved making them from Kanoka disks.16

There was no comprehensive list of masks whose powers were considered too immoral for Toa to use, since the creation of new masks was always a possibility. It was up to a Toa to decide whether a mask's power was something he or she should or should not have used.17

Masks provided Matoran a largely unending power source so they could keep working.18

Kanohi were part of the initial inventions of the Great Beings, so they were present from the start of the Matoran universe – Matoran, Toa, etc. all wore them.19

Although Matoran's powerless masks were crafted from Kanoka with power levels between 1 and 6, there was no particular benefit to a Matoran wearing a mask crafted from a higher level Kanoka.20

According to Greg, masks attached to their wearers via magnetic power.21

Glatorian were not able to use Kanohi, even those who had been given elemental powers.22

The Matoran, being created early on, needed masks to function and moreover had the potential to transform into Toa, who could use mask powers. The Toa needed mask powers to perform their duties. Other species in the Matoran universe that were not intended to play that kind of role did not require mask powers, so they were not designed to be able to use them. Many species did not require a mask to be able to function, and there were obvious design differences among species.23

List of Kanohi

  • Hau
  • Kakama
  • Pakari
  • Miru
  • Akaku
  • Kaukau
  • Huna
  • Komau
  • Ruru
  • Mahiki
  • Matatu
  • Rau
  • Avohkii
  • Kraahkan
  • Kiril
  • Pehkui
  • Kualsi
  • Rode
  • Olmak
  • Calix
  • Sanok
  • Kadin
  • Suletu
  • Iden
  • Elda
  • Arthron
  • Garai
  • Volitak
  • Zatth
  • Tryna
  • Faxon
  • Olisi
  • Jutlin
  • Shelek
  • Avsa
  • Mohtrek
  • Felnas
  • Crast
  • Mask of Intangibility
  • Mask of Possibilities
  • Mask of Psychometry
  • Mask of Emulation
  • Mask of Growth
  • Mask of Rahi Control
  • Mask of Clairvoyance
  • Mask of Mutation
  • Mask of Charisma
  • Mask of Adaptation
  • Mask of Aging
  • Mask of Biomechanics
  • Mask of Conjuring
  • Mask of Fusion
  • Mask of Incomprehension
  • Mask of Rebounding
  • Mask of Scavenging/Mask of Vulture
  • Mask of Sensory Aptitude
  • Mask of Undeath

List of Kanohi Nuva

  • Hau Nuva
  • Kakama Nuva
  • Pakari Nuva
  • Miru Nuva
  • Akaku Nuva
  • Kaukau Nuva

List of Special Kanohi

  • Copper Mask of Victory
  • Gold Mask
  • Aki
  • Rua
  • Aki Nuva
  • Rua Nuva
  • Mask of Elemental Energy

List of Legendary Masks

  • Vahi
  • Ignika
  • Mask of Creation