Articles in the Maori symbols Category
Headline, Maori History, Maori symbols »
Toi tu te kupu, toi tu te mana, toi tu te whenua
Hold fast to the language, hold fast to the spirit, hold fast to the land.
This Maori proverb reveals a lot about the native people of New Zealand. Theirs is a rich and deep culture, their identity rooted in the land and their ancestry, and these vital links shape the people’s identity and their art. From the formal rituals of the Marae, or meeting place, to the very carvings that adorn it, the Maori people’s foundation in their language, spirit …
Maori symbols »
The Maori are an indigenous people of Aotearoa New Zealand and their culture is steeped in art, both traditional designs as well as more modern ones. Because the early Maori did not use the written language as a form of communication most of their history and the events of their lives were recorded by story telling and their artistry. Maori cultural expressions are both bold and compelling.
Early Maori artists used the material at hand to create their totems, carvings, and paintings. These materials were wood, green stone, jade (greenstone – …
Headline, Maori symbols, Wood Carvings »
The famous Maori Pukaki carving represents the remarkable, 18th century Maori warrior Pukaki, renowned chief (rangirata) of the Ngati Whakaue (sub)tribe.
In 1877 the wooden carving of the revered Maori warrior chief suddenly disappeared. It reappeared after more than hundred years during the preparations for the worldwide Te Maori exhibition.
It’s one of New Zealand’s most well known carvings and is currently exhibited in the entrance of the Rotorua District Council after this unique part of Maori heritage was given back by the Auckland Museum.
The almost 2 meters tall carving …
maori artists, Maori symbols »
Very exclusive and unique are these mammoth ivory pendants created by Maori master carver Kerry Thompson. Thompson is one of New Zealand’s most renowned carvers.
His exceptional skills and distinct style speak of the utmost respect he has for the bone carving craft, his culture and his tribe. His work resembles both ancient traditional aspects as well as contemporary influences. (Click the photo to view these and other carvings.)
These masterpieces resemble (from left to right) the Maori orca, the torea, new life, and the matau.
The orca, as many sea creatures has …
Bone Carvings, Maori symbols »
The Maori fish hook is not only in demand among kayakers, boaters, surfers, and other watersports enthusiasts. Also those who are interested in indigenous cultures, especially in the Polynesian Maori culture, like myself value these carved pendants. The Maori fish hook necklace was often worn by Maori warriors during ceremonial dances and is a convincing expression of authority and power.
The spiritual and historical meaning of the Maori fish hook is appealing to many. Moreover, the level of craftsmanship expressed through these little works of art is …
Bone Carvings, Maori symbols »
Torea is the Maori word for the oystercatcher bird. Various species of this genus are spread over the world. The pied oystercatcher and the variable oystercatcher are native to New Zealand. Despite its name suggests this wader bird does not feed on oysters but on small crabs, worms, and other small marine creatures.
Courtesy photo: Boneart.co.nz
The torea bone carved pendants on the photo are made by master carver Kerry Thompson:
“Most of my works are of a contemporary Maori design, and I am greatly influenced by the beauty and nature that …
Maori symbols »
In marine-based Maori culture the sea and its creatures have always had much significance. Especially whales, turtles, and dolphins were highly respected. According to legends, dolphins helped the first Maori canoes navigating the South Pacific to the new homeland. This could fairly well be based on true facts because such incidents are still reported. More on this in a bit.
Other stories report about dolphins attacking sharks near Maori canoes. It’s only logical that the dolphin became a symbol of protection, a good omen, particularly for travellers. The Maori dolphin …
Featured, Maori symbols »
Maori culture has historically been oral. This means they had no written language to pass on cultural heritage. As a result carvings and other art forms flourished as a means to pass on ancestry, major historic events, beliefs, legends, and other cultural elements. Even upon today the designs and their symbolism still tell the wonderful Maori tales. That’s why Maori symbols form such a substantial part of the national Maori identity and culture.
The elaborate artistic traditions of the Maori have in common that the large deal, if not all, make …
Maori symbols, Wood Carvings »
Tekoteko are wooden carved human-like figures commonly representing Maori tribal ancestors and in general protection and guardianship. Historically these figures were placed on the gable of (meeting) houses (wharenui) but there are also freestanding tekoteko.
The tekoteko on the photo right represents Kupe, according to Maori legends the discoverer of New Zealand. This tekoteko is situated on the ‘Te Whare Runanga Marae’ meeting house at Waitangi. (Waitangi is the place where several Maori chiefs signed the Waitangi Treaty with the British Crown in 1840.)
Courtesy photo by olearyci | Creative …