Ngāi Tahu Pounamu - Bound MatauNgai Tahu Pounamu
The traditional roots of this taonga found in the legend of Maui who used a magical hook to fish up Te Ika-a-Māui - the North Island of Aotearoa.
Contemporarily, the matau has come to represent prosperity, abundance and safe travels across water.
Width: 33mm Height: 60mm
Ngāi Tahu Pounamu
All genuine New Zealand Pounamu prominently displays a mark of authenticity and an exclusive trace code. When entered online this code identifies the origin and whakapapa of the stone - use your code to find out about your stone.
In 1997 the New Zealand Government returned the rights of greenstone ownership to Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, the iwi’s elected tribal council. (It is important to note here, that greenstone is also known as nephrite or jade and, in Māori, pounamu).
Ngāi Tahu are therefore the kaitiaki of all South Island greenstone, the only known source of authentic New Zealand pounamu. This was a huge moment both for the tribe and for the greater identity of New Zealand.
The importance of the stone to the greater identity of Māori cannot be undervalued. Along with rights to pounamu came the key responsibility of ensuring pounamu can be sustainably managed. This means not just caring for the stone but also protecting and advocating for the rivers it comes from, the artists that shape it and the communities that surround it.