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History and Meaning

The Traditional Meaning of Maori Taonga (bone jewelry based on traditional symbols)

Prior to the introduction of written language with the arrival of the Europeans, The Maori passed down their rich cultural heritage through symbols and artistically carved heirlooms known as "Taonga". These symbols and carvings have a spiritual importance and are said to take on the spirit of the wearer, particularly when worn with respect or given with love. The various symbols used for these carvings have particular meanings based on Maori mythology. They are often worn as good luck charms or to symbolize friendship and new beginnings.

Though each individual symbol has many meanings, the Hei Matau is most famous as a symbol for safe passage over water. The Koru spiral is based on an unfurling baby fern, and is both part of the Maori tribal flag and a symbol for new life, growth and peace. The Twist is typically used to symbolize an eternal bond between two people or two groups of people. You can find more in depth information about these individual symbols by clicking on "Buy Hei Matau" "Buy Koru" or "Buy Twist".

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