For centuries, the Maori of New Zealand have been carving and wearing beautiful unique necklaces. Their various shapes have symbolism that can be important to the wearer. These distinctive shapes are rarely seen anywhere else in the world and have spiritual significance for the Maori. For example, the double or triple twist depicts friendship and loyalty that stays strong through the many challenges of life. For a description of the shapes and meanings a Maori necklace can have go to Maori carving designs. Below is a list of facts about Maori necklaces including why people buy them, how they are carved and where you can buy genuine pieces made by Maori carvers.
Maori Necklace Facts
The Bone Art Place has beautiful Maori necklaces and other jewelry for sale that is made by extremely talented genuine Maori carvers in New Zealand.
These necklaces can be made from various materials, the most popular are jade and bone, followed by paua, silver, and wood.
The Maori wore necklaces, bearing important Maori symbols, for various reasons including status, protection, or simply for ornamentation.
Although once only popular in New Zealand Maori necklaces are becoming increasing popular throughout the world. In fact, Pierce Brosnan can be seen wearing a Maori bone necklace in the movie After the Sunset; also numerous Maori designs can be seen in the 2016 Disney movie Moana.
Maori necklaces come in various shapes each of which holds special meanings to the Maori. See the list below for these meanings.
In 1769 Captain James Cook was given a beautiful hei tiki necklace from the Maori people as a present to be given to King George III of the United Kingdom. This necklace is now on display at the British Museum in London.
Traditionally Maori carvers produced exquisite necklaces and other jewelry; today with the use of modern day tools even more intrigue designs can be carved.
The Meanings of Maori Necklace Shapes
Below is a list of the most common shapes of Maori necklaces and the associated symbolism. For more detailed information about the various shapes Maori necklaces can have visit Maori Carving Designs.
Koru (spiral) - This shape depicts the silver fern of New Zealand. It is perhaps the best known of all Maori shapes. This shape symbolizes growth and a new beginning.
Twist - A popular Maori shape is the twist. There are necklaces made with single, double, and triple twists. A single twist symbolizes how two people's lives will always cross again even if separated for long periods of time. Double and triple twist symbolize how groups of people's lives always cross paths.
Hei Matau (Fish Hook) - Traditionally fishing has been extremely important to the Maori people as a means of survival and for gaining wealth. The fish hook shape symbolizes prosperity and strength.
Hei Tiki - This is a good luck charm.
Manaia - The Manaia is a guardian that has a bird's head, the body of a man, and a fish's tail.