Traditional Maori Art (New Zeeland)

Traditional Maori Art (New Zeeland)

Traditional Maori Art (New Zeeland)

 

Every carving has a very special meaning or story behind its design.

The carvings based on Maori designs in particular have special significance. The pre-European Maori had no written language so tribal history and the stories of the gods were kept using many forms of fine arts and crafts ranging from basket and cloth weaving to complex wood, bone, shell and jade carving. These artifacts were then handed down through generations of tribal elders and became sacred objects or treasures "Taonga", telling the history of a tribe and taking on the spirits of past great leaders and warriors who had worn them.

It is believed that a carving which is worn with respect or given and received with love, takes on part of the spirit of those who wear or handle it. In this way it becomes a spiritual link between people spanning time and distance. A carving that has been worn by family or tribal members over many generations contains the spirit of all of those people and is truly a great and powerful treasure.

Pendants, jewelry and various tools such as needles, spear tips and fish hooks made from bone developed into a fine art form with great importance being placed on every piece, many of which took years to make using stone tools. Some have inlays of precious stones or colourful shell and all have a story or meaning behind their design.

The Maori have a great respect for nature and have many legends about the creation of the earth and all its inhabitants. Many of these legends revolve around the spirits or gods who created or protect each part of their world such as the mountains, the forests, the lakes and the creatures of the sea.

Most carvings combine elements from several areas of mythology which interact with each other to tell a story. Each element has its own specific meaning and the way they are portrayed or combined is what gives a carving its own special character.
The meanings of some elements vary from region to region but all share common roots.

 

Some Basic Design Elements & Their Meanings

Koru:


KoruThe spiral is a Koru, represents the fern frond as it opens bringing new life and purity to the world. It also represents peace, tranquility and spirituality along with a strong sense of re growth or new beginnings.
The Koru is also often associated with nurturing so when interlocked with others is frequently used to represent the strength and purity of a loving relationship within a family.
 
 
Twist:

TwistThe twist with its crisscross form represents the many paths of life and love and as such
 is regarded as the original eternity symbol. The single twist in particular shows the joining together of two people for eternity. Even though they sometimes move away from each other on their own journeys, they will always come together again sharing their lives and blending to become one. It tells how the strength of bond of friendship, loyalty and love will last forever.
The double and triple twists have a similar meaning but refer more to the joining of two peoples or cultures rather than individuals.
They also refer the the three baskets of knowledge.

 

Hei-Matau:

Hei MatauThese very stylised fish hooks represent strength, prosperity,abundance, fertility and a great respect for the sea.
It also is said to provide good luck and safety when traveling over water so is often worn by travelers.
Hei-Matau are also symbols of power and authority which are held in great reverence by the Maori people.
They were used as a practical tool for fishing and were often decorated as a sign of respect for the creatures of the sea.
There are many styles of Hei-Matau from the true hook designs to the more ornamental styles which became treasured heirlooms for generations following.

 

Manaia:

ManaiaThe Manaia is an ancient mythical being with a birds head and a human form. It is said to be the messenger between the earthly world of mortals and the domain of the spirits illustrating the strong links the Maori people have with spirituality and the spirit world.
It is a holder of great spiritual energy and is a guardian against evil.
The Manaia can be seen blended into many Maori designs with subtle differences between tribes.

The Manaia is often depicted with the three fingers of birth, life and death. It can also be shown with a fourth finger representing the afterlife and describing the circle of life.


 

 

TokiToki:

This design represents the Toki or Adze ("adz" in American English) which was used to carve the great canoes and also to cut and work timber for the fortresses or Pahs in which the Maori lived. 
It was such an important tool in Maori life that it became regarded as a symbol of power, authority and good character. 
It is also the mark of the craftsman and artist.

 


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Flame Brushed Bound Matau

Product no.: NZM0001

Handmade in New Zeeland

65.00 *
In stock
Delivery period: 3-5 working days

Large Bone Matau

Product no.: NZM0002

Handmade in New Zeeland

65.00 *
Still in stock
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Small Stained Bound Matau

Product no.: NZM0003

Handmade in New Zeeland

65.00 *
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Stained Manaia Koru

Product no.: NZG0001

Handmade in New Zeeland

65.00 *
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Stained and Engraved Pikorua

Product no.: NZP0001

Handmade in New Zeeland

65.00 *
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Manaia Matau

Product no.: NZG0002

Handmade in New Zeeland

65.00 *
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Large Engraved Koru

Product no.: NZK0003

Handmade in New Zeeland

65.00 *
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Engraved Koru

Product no.: NZK0001

Handmade in New Zeeland

65.00 *
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Stained Koru Toki

Product no.: NZT0001

Handmade in New Zeeland

65.00 *
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Engraved Bone Toki (Medium)

Product no.: NZT0003

Handmade in New Zeeland

70.00 *
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Engraved Bone Toki (Large)

Product no.: NZT0002

Handmade in New Zeeland

75.00 *
Still in stock
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Flame Brushed Circle Koru

Product no.: NZK0002

Handmade in New Zeeland

65.00 *
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