MAORI CARVING DESIGNS
The Maori are famous for their beautiful and unique carvings. Maori carvings can be found on their houses, boats, statues, and on the jewelry they make. A Maori carving can be made from many different materials including jade, bone, silver, and wood. For a great selection of pendants, necklaces, and other jewelry made with Maori carving designs visit
The Bone Art Place. Each shape has a special meaning. Below is a list of the most common shapes that can be found on a Maori carving and the meaning the Maori have given to the shape.
For a great selection of books on maori carvings click here.
Types of Maori Carving Designs
This shape depicts an unfurled fern leaf. It represents harmony, growth, and new beginnings.
Hei Matau (Fish Hook)
This shape represents prosperity, determination, strength, and good health. It also provides for a safe journey
The Maori carving of a single twist symbolizes the path of life of an individual.
Double or Triple twist
This is one of the most popular Maori carving designs. Unlike the single twist which represents an individual
the double and triple twist symbolizes the joining of two or more people or cultures for eternity.
The shape represents loyalty and friendship that stays strong through the many challenges of life.
This Maori carving depicts a spiritual guardian. The figure is traditionally carved with the head of
a bird, a fish tail, and a mans body. The Manaia looks after an individuals spirit and guides the
spirit to where it is suppose to go upon death.
Since ancient times the Maori have considered the tiki a good luck charm. These Maori carvings were
valuable possessions handed down from generation to generation. It was believed that wearing this Maori carving would
This Maori carving represents strength but also sensitivity. This is one of the
many Maori shapes that symbolizes protection.
Represents a free spirit. Symbolizes closeness to nature, especially the ocean.
This is also one of the many Maori carvings that represent protection.
This shape represents strength, focus, control, and determination.