(Image credit : Courtney Marama)
New Zealand pounamu (greenstone) is from the South Island of New Zealand. Pounamu is considered a taonga (treasure). It has mana (high status) and is sacred.
Each of the carvers represented at The Poi Room have a strong affinity to greenstone and understand the special connectivity each piece will have with the end wearer.
(West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand - The location where Pounamu is sourced)
Meanings behind designs in carvings are interpreted from Maori myths and spiritual beliefs.
Here a few examples of some of the meanings of the carvings we have instore.
Koru: The unfurling frond represents new life, new beginnings, growth, strength and peace.
Hei Matau: In Maori mythology Maui used a magical hook to fish up the North Island. The hei matau represents prosperity, strength and safe travel across water.
Twist: Strength of love, friendship, family, togetherness, lives intertwined and infinity.
(Left : West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand - The location where Pounamu is sourced. Right : Hei Tiki Pounamu by Akapita Kautai)
Toki: Based on an adze, a traditional carving tool. The toki represents courage and determination. The owner is the creator of their own destiny.
Manaia: A mythological creature in Maori culture. Depicted as having the head of a bird, tail of a fish and body of a man. The symbol is used as a protector, a guardian against evil.
Roimata: A tear shape regarded as a touchstone to help with healing and meditation.
Mere: Traditional, close combat, one-handed weapon. Symbol of chieftainship and high regard.
Hei Tiki: A sign of fertility, goodwill and honouring of ancestors.
There are many other designs available and often a mix of these may be incorporated into one single carving. Pounamu is one of our most sacred resources in Aotearoa and we are proud to represent beautiful pieces to be treasured.