Once only popular in New Zealand Maori pendants are becoming more popular throughout the world. These pendants are traditionally made from bone or greenstone (jade) but can also be found for sale made from paua shells, wood, and silver. Their unique and beautiful shapes make for stunning jewelry. Below is a list of facts and information about Maori pendants including why people buy them, how they are made and where they can be purchased.
Facts about Maori Pendants
The Bone Art Place is famous for their beautiful handmade Maori pendants made by some of the finest carvers in New Zealand.
The Maori often pass down pendants from generation to generation. As they are passed along they gain mana (prestige).
Pendants that have been passed down for many generations with known histories are regarded as taonga (treasure) by the Maori people.
Maori jewelry is becoming more popular. In the movie After the Sunset actor Pierce Bronson can be seen wearing a Maori bone necklace. In the 2016 Disney movie Moana numerous Maori symbols can be seen
The Meanings of Maori Pendant Shapes
Each shape has a special meaning to the Maori and have deep spiritual significance. Below is a list of several popular shapes and their meanings. To learn more about the meanings a Maori pendant can have go to Maori Carving Designs .
Koru (spiral) - Perhaps the most recognizable Maori shape the Koru depicts New Zealand's silver fern and represents many things including a new beginning and growth.
Single, Double, and Triple Twist - Many Maori pendants have twist shapes. The twist represents how the lives of two people (single twist) or groups of people (double and triple twist) will always cross paths even though maybe being separated at times.
Hei Matau (Fish Hook) - This popular pendant shape represents numerous things including strength and prosperity. Fishing has always been important to the Maori and the fish hook represents the ability to prosper.
Hei Tiki - Worn mainly as a good luck charm and to strengthen the wearers character.
Manaia - This shape is of a Maori guardian and is depicted as having the body of a man, a bird's head, and a fish's tail.