Maori Designs Interpretations

A Touch of New Zealand
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Crossover and Triple Twist - represents a bonding of friendship, two lives becoming one for all eternity
 
Hei-tiki - Hei - from the neck or neck pendant         tiki - human form
The typical hei-tiki has a large, angled rounded or pointed head, usually just slightly less then half of the total length and with the mouth on either the left or right side. The eyes were often inset with paua shell (Haliotis iris) but later, after arrival of Europeans, red sealing wax was used. Usually, the remainder of the body featured a relatively large abdomen and the legs in a squatting position, with the heels together and both hands resting on the thighs.
 
Hei-matau - is not as common as the hei-tiki as a neck ornament, the Maori fish hook was made in a variety of designs to suit the catching of the wide variety of fish around New Zealand . Matau, meaning hook, like the hei-tiki was worn suspended by a cord from the neck. Its importance goes back at least as far as the legend of Maui.
Today, it represents strength and determination and brings peace, prosperity and good health. Also provides safe journey over water.
 
Kapeu - pendant with curved lower end
 
Koropepe - design has a coiled snake-like or eel appearance with a bird-like head. The design is a relatively modern form as no ancient examples have been found.
 
Koru - spiral design depicting new beginnings, growth and harmony
 
Kuru - straight pendant
 
Manaia - mythical bird-like person with the head in profile and coming to a point which gives the appearance of a beak. Sometimes the head portion only was used as a separate design to replace the hands and feet of an otherwise normal figure. It was much used in the carved barge boards of canoes and for the door and window lintels of carved buildings. The manaia can mean many things in Maori folklore, but this spritual and mythical creature was and still is regarded as a tribal guardian. Some were grotesque figures while others were almost human, but still with a fierce facial expression. There are three fingers and toes or claws on each limb.
 
Marakihau (sea monster) - a development of the manaia design, it has a bird-like head and was made predominately by Maori of the Northland and Auckland districts.
 
Pekapeka (bat) - the symmetrical design believed to represent the native bat by its outline shape, has the profile of two outward facing heads sharing the one body. It was made predominately by Maori of the Northland and Auckland districts and although it is now also worn as a penadant, it used to be worn from the ear. Similar designs but with only one head in profile, are the marakihau and manaia which are worn hanging vertically.
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