“Māori pendants, known as nga taonga (treasures), are rendered in bone, shell and jade and often carry names and stories pertinent to the family and history of the wearer. Prominent designs incorporate references to the koru (fern frond), a symbol of growth and rebirth; matau (fish hook), a representation of prosperity; tools such as the toki (adze blades), a symbol of the artist; various weapons, and supernatural creatures and guardians steeped in history and mystery, such as the manaia (birdlike guardian figures), taniwha (water spirits) and Hei Tiki (the first man in the Māori world, who descended from the stars). Traditionally given as symbols of respect and esteem, today the pendants are instantly recognizable ambassadors for the Māori.”
Excerpt from Manawa—Pacific Heartbeat
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