Maori Koru Jewelry

One of the most popular shapes found in Maori jewelry is the Koru, also referred to as Hei Koru (Hei translates to suspend, as in wearing a necklace). This symbol is a spiral (swirl) that represents the unfurling of the fronds (leaves) of the New Zealand silver fern. The fronds are tightly curled when they are young and slowly unfurl. The Maori carve beautiful necklaces, pendants, rings, and earrings out of bone and jade (greenstone) in this shape. Koru Jewelry is for sale in many areas of New Zealand and on many online stores. This jewelry makes great gifts for women and for men. The Koru symbol can be found throughout New Zealand. The design is found in paintings, sculptures, tattoos (moko), jewelry, and even as the logo for Air New Zealand.

On this page of Maori Source we discuss the meanings the Maori attach to this shape, where you can buy Koru jewelry (and other Maori jewelry), and the importance of the silver fern to the people of New Zealand.

The Koru shape symbolizes many things to the Maori including a fresh start, new life, growth, new beginnings, purity, nurturing, personal growth, tranquility, positive change, and an awakening. Due to this symbolism Maori Koru Jewelry is frequently given as gifts for special occasions such as weddings, a birth, and the purchase of a new house. There are many online stores that have Koru jewelry for sale, however many of these stores sell inferior non-traditional pieces. This jewelry is usually manufactured in China and is made with inferior material such as resin or bone paste. If you are interested in traditional Maori jewelry made in New Zealand, including Koru pieces, visit The Bone Art Place. Their talented artists carve beautiful genuine Maori necklaces, pendants, and earrings.

As explained above the Koru's shape is that of the unfurling leaves of the New Zealand silver fern, a medium sized tree fern that is unique to New Zealand. The New Zealand silver fern (Cyathea dealbata) is an extremely important plant to New Zealanders. It is used, in various ways, as a symbol thought out New Zealand. Below is a list of several places this fern symbol can be found in New Zealand.