Articles tagged with: hei matau
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 …
Literally hei matau means ‘fish hook pendant’. Hei is Maori for ‘to wear around the neck’ and matau means ‘fish hook’ or ‘hook’. Back in the days when the Maori tribes were highly dependent on fishing for their food gathering a high quality matau was a priceless possession. This instigated the practice of wearing their best hooks on cords as necklaces.
The practice of wearing fish hooks as necklaces initially had a practical motive. Simply because the hook was lost less easily. Gradually the hei matau became a highly …
Bone Carvings »
Bone Maori fish hook pendants (hei matau) are an example of the better known Maori carvings. Traditionally carved from whale bone, nowadays these ornamental hooks are commonly made from cattle bone. In exceptional cases whale bone is used but this mainly depends on the supply. (The Maori have the rights to use the bone (and other parts) of stranded whales by the Treaty of Waitangi.)
The ancient fishing tools, which were often worn around the neck as pendants, gradually involved into highly regarded Maori jewelry. Passed on upon generations these treasures …