"You must not remove your masks, unless you are replacing one with another. Without them, your strength is halved."
— Toa Helryx, Swamp of Secrets
|Location||Scattered across the Matoran Universe and Spherus Magna|
|Users||Matoran/Toa/Turaga, Makuta, others|
|Function||Providing power(s) to their wearers|
Kanohi are objects that grant powers to a being when they are worn, named after the Matoran word for "mask." Kanohi are magnetically attached to their wearers. A variety of species can wear and use Kanohi, the most prominent being Matoran, Toa and Turaga, who require Kanohi in order to function properly. The Matoran have always had need of Kanohi; the first masks were created by the Great Beings for the Matoran. Afterwards, Mata Nui taught them to make masks on their own. On Metru Nui, masks were made from Kanoka.
When a Matoran, Toa, or Turaga has their Kanohi removed, they suffer weakness - Toa feel weak and dizzy, Turaga suffer extreme weakness, and Matoran lapse into a coma-like state if the mask is not replaced within an extended period of time. Kanohi have a tendency to retain an imprint of their owner's conscience and identity within themselves for a short time after being removed, allowing any mask to be infused with great amounts of a life-force to resurrect the deceased mask-wearer. However, after an extended period of time, the imprint will fade away.
There are four known power levels for a Kanohi, the most common being the powerless masks worn by Matoran, made from level 1-6 Kanoka. The process used to make the mask causes the energy to leak out, which is why these masks have no powers. However, they are needed for Matoran to live and function properly. Although Matoran can sense the power in a Great or Noble mask, they lack the mental discipline needed to access its powers. Matoran can customize their masks, making modifications such as adding a scope. Matoran or Noble masks can become Great masks when they come in contact with Toa Energy. This happens whenever a Toa is transformed from a Matoran. Another type of Kanohi, "Copper" masks also exist, being powerless trophies awarded to the winners of sports on Mata Nui and Metru Nui.
Turaga wear Noble masks made from level 7 Kanoka, and have access to the mask's power. Toa and other beings wear Great masks, which offer a stronger mask power, and are made from level 8 Kanoka disks, though they may still use a Noble Mask with ease.
There was also a powerful collection of masks called Golden Kanohi, which had the powers of the masks worn by the Toa Mata: Shielding, X-Ray Vision, Speed, Water Breathing, Strength, and Levitation. They were only in existence for a short time after all six Kanohi had been found by their respective Toa. They were stored inside Kini-Nui, and when the six Kanohi were placed on the Suva, they activated the release of a Golden Kanohi. The Golden Kanohi were later transformed into Kanohi Nuva upon being submerged in Energized Protodermis.
There are some extraordinary Kanohi that possess powers far beyond a normal mask; these are known as Legendary Masks. Only three are known so far, the Kanohi Vahi, the Legendary Mask of Time, the Kanohi Ignika, the Legendary Mask of Life and the Legendary Mask of Creation. These masks are sought by many, such as the Piraka, who wanted the Mask of Life to gain wealth and power, and the Barraki, who believed it could restore them to their original forms. The only Legendary Mask to have been made from Kanoka is the Vahi, which was created from six level 9 disks fused into one. It is impossible to create Noble or Matoran versions of these Kanohi because any weaker form of the mask cannot contain the power within.
The Kanohi that the Toa Inika bore were organic, as well as sentient. This was a result of the Matoran/Toa transformation; the masks given to the Toa Inika by Karzahni were altered by the Red Star. The masks could communicate with the Toa Inika through pain, this being the reason why Hahli had headaches whenever she was near the Kanohi Ignika. This is also the reason why the Toa Inika took little time to learn how to turn on their masks compared to previous Toa; their Kanohi helped them.
Sometimes, bearers of a Kanohi undergo changes, and their masks fuse to their faces. In most cases, such as the Toa Hordika and Nidhiki, the wearer loses access to the mask powers. However, when Karzahni was mutated by the Pit Mutagen, his Olisi kept its powers.
Kanohi of Karzahni
While in his realm, instead of doing his job and fixing injured Matoran, Karzahni rebuilt them and gave them Kanohi of various shapes. Some examples of the Kanohi he built are the ones worn by the Matoran that lived in his domain and are now living on Spherus Magna.
On Metru Nui, Kanohi masks were made from Kanoka by Mask Makers in Ta-Metru. The type of Kanoka and its power level determined what kind of mask it would be, and the creators could also combine Kanoka to create different masks. (A chart of which Kanoka form what Kanohi can be found here.) Level 1-6 Kanoka are formed into Matoran masks, 7, Noble, and 8, Great. The reason for these distinctions is that power leaks from the Kanoka during Kanohi creation, thus allowing only masks made from higher level Kanoka to have powers.
To forge a Kanohi mask, the Kanoka would be melted down and reforged or carved into the desired shape--the masks could not be flawed or else their powers (if the finished product was meant to have any) would leak out. Flawed masks were melted down to make more raw Protodermis. Masks would be painted with a coloring additive after being made, to differentiate power level. Matoran masks would have silver paint added to the top half, Noble, black paint, and Great masks would remain one full color. On Mata Nui, this coloring eventually faded away from sun exposure.
Certain devices can be added to Kanohi after the mask is made, such as the telescopic eyepiece commonly added to the Akaku as well as during its creation. These additions can also later be removed without damaging the mask.
There are other ways to make Kanohi, as Kanohi predated mask makers. Mask making on Metru Nui stopped temporarily while it was was deserted. However, it has resumed since the return of the Matoran. Other places where masks were made include the islands Artakha and Karzahni. It is possible to make masks out of purified Protodermis and skip the Kanoka stage.
The colors of Great and Noble masks are dependent on their wearers. When Kanohi are made originally, they adopt a grayish color which they keep until they are worn. At that point the mask adopts a color with respect to the wearer. Matoran masks, having no power, will not change color at all, making it necessary to paint them in their colors. There are some special cases for very rare and powerful masks, however. The Golden Kanohi, Avohkii, Ignika, and Vahi are all exceptional cases. When made, they had specific colors "given" to them already. It is not known why these masks had color from the time of creation.
Great Kanohi are the most powerful normal masks. They are made from level 8 Kanoka. They bestow any of a variety of powers depending on the type of mask, upon the user, like shielding, telepathy, stealth, telekinesis, or levitation. They can be in any shape or form, but throughout the Matoran Universe, mask makers have adopted specific shapes for certain powers, in order to avoid confusion if a Toa is in dire need of a mask. While Toa are the most well-known beings to use masks, many other species are known to be able to use mask powers. Below is a list of known Great Masks of Power:
Great Mask of Shielding
Great Mask of Water Breathing
Great Mask of Levitation
Great Mask of Speed
Great Mask of Strength
Great Mask of X-Ray Vision
Great Mask of Concealment
Great Mask of Translation
Great Mask of Illusion
Great Mask of Mind Control
Great Mask of Night Vision
Great Mask of Telekinesis
Great Mask of Fate
Great Mask of Detection
Great Mask of Telepathy
Great Mask of Accuracy
Great Mask of Flight
Great Mask of Spirit
Great Mask of Sonar
Great Mask of Kindred
Great Mask of Summoning
Great Mask of Gravity
Great Mask of Stealth
Great Mask of Reanimation
Great Mask of Corruption
Great Mask of Hunger
Great Mask of Disruption
Great Mask of Time Duplication
Great Mask of Silence
Great Mask of Repulsion
Great Mask of Diminishment
|Great Mask of Clairvoyance||Kualsi,
Great Mask of Quick Travel
|Great Mask of Emulation||Great Mask of Growth||Great Mask of Rahi Control|
Great Mask of Light
Great Mask of Shadows
|Great Mask of Light and Shadow||Kiril,
Great Mask of Regeneration
Great Mask of Wisdom
Great Mask of Valor
Great Mask of Truth
Great Mask of Dimensional Gates
|Great Mask of Charisma||Olisi,
Great Mask of Alternate Futures
|Great Mask of Psychometry||Great Mask of Intangibility|
|Great Mask of Possibilities||Great Mask of Elemental Energy||Great Mask of Mutation||Great Mask of Scavenging|
More powerful than normal Great masks, they were created when the Toa Mata were immersed in Energized Protodermis and became the Toa Nuva. When a mask is immersed in Energized Protodermis, it will become a Kanohi Nuva if it is destined to do so. The only Kanohi Nuva in existence are the Toa Nuva's.
There are eight types of Kanohi Nuva. A Kanohi Nuva has differences from its regular version, such as: the user can grant his/her power to ones surrounding him/her, and their powers are stronger and can last longer.
Kanohi Nuva of Shielding
Kanohi Nuva of Water Breathing
Kanohi Nuva of Levitation
Kanohi Nuva of Speed
Kanohi Nuva of Strength
Kanohi Nuva of X-Ray Vision
Kanohi Nuva of Valor
Kanohi Nuva of Wisdom
Noble Kanohi are made from a level 7 Kanoka and possess weakened versions of the powers of their Great Mask counterparts. They are also formed when a Toa becomes a Turaga, during which their Kanohi transforms into a Noble one. There can be Noble forms of any mask, except Legendary masks and fused Kanohi worn by Toa Kaita.
Noble Mask of Concealment
Noble Mask of Translation
Noble Mask of Illusion
Noble Mask of Mind Control
Noble Mask of Night Vision
Noble Mask of Telekinesis
Noble Mask of Shielding
Noble Mask of Water Breathing
Noble Mask of Levitation
Noble Mask of Speed
Noble Mask of Strength
Noble Mask of X-Ray Vision
Noble Mask of Regeneration
Noble Mask of Corruption
Noble Mask of Hunger
Noble Mask of Silence
These Kanohi are vastly more powerful and difficult to control than other masks. If destroyed, they would unleash their powers, resulting in the break-down of a fundamental force of the Matoran Universe. Each contains a fundamental part of the Matoran Universe: Life, Time and Creation. Legendary Kanohi, unlike Great Kanohi, cannot exist at lower power levels.
The Legendary Mask of Time
The Legendary Mask of Life
|The Legendary Mask of Creation|
These Kanohi do not fit in any other categories:
Kanohi that contain the powers of the Toa Mata's masks
Kanohi infected by Kraata
|Copper Mask of Victory,|
Powerless masks forged in a copper color
The following are Kanohi not identified in the story.
|Prototype's Kanohi, fused from two component Kanohi||A Voya Nui Matoran's Kanohi||Many Mahri Nui Matoran with unknown Kanohi||Two Southern Continent Matoran's Kanohi||An unknown Matoran's Kanohi||An unknown Matoran's Kanohi||An unknown Matoran's Kanohi|
Kanohi have been featured in several BIONICLE sets from 2001 to 2010, including all Matoran, Toa, Turaga, and Makuta sets as well as sets of other species. They have also been released in several BIONICLE promotions.
In 2001 a "Kanohi" pack was released, containing two Kanohi. These could be any of the Great Kanohi worn by the Toa Mata in any of the colors they wore or any of the Noble Kanohi worn by the Turaga of their villages in any of the colors they wore. A hand-painted Infected Kanohi Hau could also appear as one of the masks, although rarely. A Toa Mata head and eyestalk and an axle piece also appeared in this set so one could display one of these masks on the lid of a Toa Mata canister to simulate a Suva.
In Germany, Nestlé cereal packs included a single Kanohi, potentially even a Copper Kanohi for lucky buyers, as a limited-time promotion. The pack also featured a cut-out BIONICLE Kanohi Memory activity on the back and a little prospect with information on each Kanohi as well as information concerning the Toa Mata, the Rahi, BIONICLE: The Legend of Mata Nui, and the Copper Huna itself, although not corresponding to canon.
A Krana pack was released in early 2002. Alongside the set's three Krana it contained two Gold Kanohi or Silver Kanohi that the Toa Mata wore. Later, in 2003, a Krana-Kal pack was released. This pack, like its predecessor, contained three metallic-colored Krana-Kal and two random Kanohi Nuva which, alongside the normal coloring of the Nuva masks, featured rare silver Kanohi Nuva to represent the Toa Nuva's masks when their powers were stolen by the Bohrok-Kal.
|Legendary||Ignika | Vahi | Mask of Creation|
|Great/Noble||Hau | Kaukau | Miru | Kakama | Pakari | Akaku | Aki | Rua|
Huna | Rau | Mahiki | Komau | Ruru | Matatu
Calix | Elda | Suletu | Sanok | Kadin | Iden
Arthron | Faxon | Zatth | Garai | Volitak | Tryna
Jutlin | Avsa | Felnas | Mohtrek | Shelek | Crast | Mask of Mutation | Mask of Scavenging
Pehkui | Mask of Clairvoyance | Kualsi | Mask of Emulation | Mask of Growth | Mask of Rahi Control
Avohkii | Kraahkan | Mask of Light and Shadow
Mask of Psychometry | Rode | Olmak | Mask of Charisma
Olisi | Kiril | Mask of Intangibility | Mask of Possibilities | Mask of Elemental Energy
|Nuva||Hau Nuva | Kaukau Nuva | Miru Nuva | Kakama Nuva | Pakari Nuva | Akaku Nuva | Aki Nuva | Rua Nuva|
|Others||Golden Kanohi | Infected Kanohi | Mask of Victory | Other Kanohi|
|Kanohi | Krana | Kanohi Nuva | Krana-Kal | Kraata (Variations)|
Kanoka (Toa Disks) (Great Disks) | Rhotuka | Zamor | Sea Squid
|BIONICLE Sets of 2001|
|Small||Standard||Vakama | Matau | Onewa | Nokama | Nuju | Whenua|
|Special||Huki | Onepu | Maku | Jala | Kongu | Matoro|
|Canister||Pohatu | Onua | Gali | Tahu | Lewa | Kopaka|
|Large||Manas | Muaka & Kane-Ra | Nui-Jaga | Nui-Rama | Tarakava|
|Collectible||Kanohi | Power Pack|
|see full list|
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