"Kanohi are quite powerful objects that, when worn, allow a select few species access to a plethora of special powers."
Toa Naur
Flash Kanohi Vahi
Function Providing power(s) to their wearers
Status In use
Location Scattered across the Matoran Universe, Spherus Magna, and the Elementus System
Pronunciation kah-NO-hee

Kanohi are objects that grant powers to a being when they are worn, named after the Matoran word for "mask."


A variety of species can wear and use Kanohi, the most prominent being Matoran, Toa and Turaga, who usually 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.


Kanohi are magnetically attached to their wearers. Kanohi of certain levels contain a power that the wearer can access, which is done through focus and concentration. If these powered Kanohi are cracked or broken, they do not function properly or at all. The masks come in a variety of different shapes, derived from the need to discern the power a mask has. While masks can be forged into any different shape, they are not typically done so in order to maintain consistency in identifying the power it might have. 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.

When most Matoran, Toa, or Turaga have 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. Some beings are able to wear Kanohi, but do not suffer any effects of not doing so.

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 various types of Kanohi that exist; they are primarily grouped into four basic categories, though exceptions arise from special circumstances.


There are four known power levels for a Kanohi: Powerless, Noble, Great, and Legendary. There are also variations made by multiple beings that follow the same power level system, while also having extra functions.


The most common type of mask is the powerless masks worn by Matoran. 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 most 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 masks can become Great masks when they come in contact with Toa Energy, and transform again into Noble masks when this Toa Energy is expended. This happens whenever a Toa is transformed from a Matoran, and again when the Toa become Turaga after sacrificing their Toa Energy and completing their destiny.

On Metru Nui and Mata Nui, powerless "Copper" masks also exist, being decorative trophies awarded to the winners of sporting events.

Noble MasksEdit

Turaga wear Noble masks, which are infused with a small amount of power that they can access. These masks are transformed from Great masks when a Toa is turned into a Turaga. Toa, however, can also access the power of Noble Masks.

Great MasksEdit

Toa and other beings wear Great masks, which offer a stronger mask power and can only be used by entities on their power level. Most powered masks worn are of the Great variety, and come in a myriad of abilities.

There are some extraordinary Kanohi that possess powers far beyond a normal mask; these are known as Legendary Masks. Only three are currently known: the Kanohi Vahi, the Mask of Time; the Kanohi Ignika, the Mask of Life; and the Mask of Creation. These masks cannot be worn by ordinary users, and often require special circumstances for their power to be accessed.

Metallic KanohiEdit

There was also a powerful collection of masks called Metallic 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 Metallic Kanohi, in the color of gold. The Golden Kanohi were later transformed into Kanohi Nuva upon being submerged in Energized Protodermis. It was later discovered that when any six kanohi were put into a Toa Suva, a Metallic Kanohi in the shape of the user's favorite of the group would appear, and would contain the powers of the six Kanohi that were entered. These Kanohi would take on the color of gold, silver, or bronze depending on the user's preferences or color scheme.

Organic KanohiEdit

The Kanohi that the Toa Inika bore were organic, as well as sentient. This was a result of alterations made by the Red Star, which was the cause of their transformation into Toa.

Fused KanohiEdit

Like many Matoran Universe entities, Kanohi are able to fuse, sometimes with one another but also directly onto the user. Kanohi that fuse naturally to one another (such as Kanohi worn by Toa Kaita) have been seen to display new powers or properties.

Mutated KanohiEdit

In cases where the mask is altered by some kind of mutation (often fusing directly onto the user, such as the Toa Hordika and Nidhiki) the wearer usually loses access to the mask powers. However, when Karzahni was mutated by the Pit Mutagen, his Olisi kept its powers.

Infected KanohiEdit

The dark essence of the Makuta species, the sentient Kraata slugs, are able to corrupt and infect Kanohi, turning the bearer into a servant of the Makuta's will.

TM KanohiEdit

Technologically-Modified Kanohi, or TM Kanohi for short, act the same as regular Kanohi, but have high-tech additions on it. Some common modifications include adding a Heads-Up Display (HUD) and adding a built-in radio.

Mask MakingEdit

Animation Metru Nui Kanohi

Kanohi forged in Metru Nui

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. Level 1-6 Kanoka are formed into Matoran masks, Level 7 is turned into Noble, and Level 8 becomes 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 could 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 could 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, and resumed briefly when it was again repopulated, and halted finally when the entire Matoran Universe was evacuated. 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.

Known Kanohi Edit

Great Kanohi Edit

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.

Kanohi Nuva Edit

More powerful than normal Great masks, they were first discovered 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.

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.

Noble Kanohi Edit

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.

Legendary Kanohi Edit

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.

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