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Morepork/ruru
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Morepork/ruru

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.
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Moko
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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).

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

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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.

Kowhai

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Kowhai is the maori word for “yellow”. Tui, wood pigeon and bellbird feast on the honey-laden, pendulous Kowhai flowers that cluster in golden blossom at the beginning of spring. The kowhai tree is a legume, endemic to New Zealand and the hardest native tree. Ideal for fence posts, lasting up to 100 years and the flexible branches shaped as construction material. Maori traditionally used the kowhai tree as medicine and a source of yellow dye. Kowhai burns hotter than coal and the seeds are poisonous.
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