Hand crafted leather goods

Maori & New Zealand Symbols

Moko
Morepork/ruru
Silver Fern
Koru Bands

Moko

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Moko or ‘ta moko’ is the name given to the tribal tattoos worn by Maori, often on the face, but also on the body. Moko are considered spiritual and sacred, and facial tattoos are normally worn by respected tribal elders as a sign of importance. The patterns of moko, although similar, are unique to the wearer, representing their own life and family tree (whakapapa).

Morepork/ruru

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The morepork/ruru is New Zealand’s only surviving native owl and are commonly found in forests throughout mainland New Zealand and on offshore islands.. Often heard in the forest at dusk and throughout the night, the morepork is known for its haunting, melancholic call. In Maori tradition the morepork was seen as a watchful guardian. It belonged to the spirit world as it is a bird of the night. Although the more-pork or ruru call was thought to be a good sign, the high pitched, piercing, ‘yelp’ call was thought to be an ominous forewarning of bad news or events.

Silver Fern

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Silver tree fern/ponga is a species of medium-sized tree fern, endemic to New Zealand. The silver fern is recognisable by the silver/white underside of the fronds. Having an extensive natural range the silver fern is found in the north and south islands predominately in a forest environment. It is a symbol commonly associated with New Zealand. The koru (Māori for "loop") is a spiral shape based on the shape of a new unfurling silver fern frond symbolising new life, growth, strength and peace.

Koru Bands

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The koru is one of the most widely used symbols in Maori culture and art. The spiral symbol takes its form from the new, unfurling frond of a fern. The koru symbolises new life, rebirth and the link between generations (known as ‘whakapapa’). It is often worn to symbolise life, renewal and hope for the future.
Tuatara

Tuatara

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The tuatara is a rare native lizard of New Zealand. It takes its name from the Maori meaning ‘peaks on the back’, due to its spiny, ridged backbone. The tuatara is considered ‘tapu’ or sacred in Maori culture, and is regarded as a messenger of the god of death and disaster.
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