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Maori Designs & Symbols

(These bone pendants are all available for purchase)

This page provides the basic meanings of some popular Maori designs or symbols. The meanings provided are the result of many books and web pages of information, and as such is as accurate as we were able to get it. Some meaning's will not agree with every tribal interpretation as not all interpretations are exactly the same.

Maori Symbols - Circle or Disk maori designsKoru (spiral)
These Maori Designs are the Koru is the Beginning of Life. The Maori have taken their symbolism from the unfurled new leaf of the silver fern. It depicts new beginnings, growth and harmony. New Zealand is the home of the most beautiful ferns in the world.

Fish HookHei Matau (Fish Hook)
These Maori Designs are the Hei-Matau and is the fish hook. It symbolizes prosperity. Much of Maori traditional food is fish. The fish were so plentiful to the Maori that the simple ownership of a fish hook meant prosperity. Today it also represents strength, determination and good health. It provides safe journey over water.


Single Twist Bone Carving 5 Single Twist - infinity Loop
These Maori Designs are the single twist and represents the joining together of two people. Even though sometimes people move away, their journey of life will have their paths cross again. The single figure eight represents the path of life, it is the eternity symbol. (The single twist is different to the double or triple twist in that it refers to individual people, where the double and triple twist refers more to the joining of peoples, or cultures)


Triple TwistTriple Twist
These Maori Designs are the triple and double twist and represents the joining together of two people, two peoples, two cultures for eternity even though they experience highs and lows of life they remain bonded by friendship and loyalty for life. (The single twist is different to the double or triple twist in that it refers to individual people, where the double and triple twist refers more to the joining of peoples, or cultures)


Bone Carving of Manaia, Fish HookManaia
The guardian
The carrier of supernatural powers.
Traditionally depicted with the head of a bird, the body of a man and the tail of a fish - representing sky, earth and sea and the balance between. It is likened to a bird sitting on your shoulder looking after ones spirit, and when your time comes it will guide your spirit where it is supposed to go


CircleCircle or Disk
The circle of life which includes the path of life ever ongoing, with no beginnings and no end. It also represents inner harmony and balance.


TikiHei Tiki
The Tiki is commonly known as a good luck charm (Hei meaning to wear around the neck). these Maori designs are considered a symbol of fertility. The wearer of the Hei Tiki is assumed to be clear thinking, perceptive, loyal and knowledgeable. Their strength is their character. The Tiki is a talisman of New Zealand and her Maori people. From ancient times it has been regarded as a good luck charm. It is widely believed that it represents the unborn human embryo. And in Maori culture this represents a particularly powerful spirit for warding off bad luck. Years ago the most valuable tiki's were hand carved from greenstone. They were handed down through the generations and are treasured New Zealand Souvenirs today. You can still get such tiki's and start your own cycle of good luck.

Other popular Maori designs or symbols are...

Drop: Indicates strength, independence, unity and pride. Often called a comfort stone.

Heart: Indicates love, emotional balance, compassion and generosity.

Adze: Signifies strength, control, determination and focus.

Teardrop: signifies reassurance, positive energy, healing and comforting.

Dolphin: A symbol of protection. Dolphins in large schools often attacked sharks that got to close to canoes. Shows affinity to nature, especially the sea. A free spirit. Today the dolphin represents protection on all forms of transport.

Whale Tail: Another symbol of protection. Many whales in an area often meant an absence of sharks. Shows empathy for conservational issues. Strength but sensitivity. Today the Whale represents protection on all forms of transport.

Stairway: To assist you in your spiritual journey.

Adze: Signifies strength and honer and a tremendous amount of determination.

Turtle: The sign of the Turtle is the symbol of the sea navigator.



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Maori Designs Symbols
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