Hei Matau ornament
This Hei Matau has been carefully carved and mounted on a driftwood base, creating a beautiful ornamental piece. This was crafted by Master Carver Lee Mullings in our Arrowtown workshop from New Zealand West Coast Greenstone.
The kawakawa stone has been delicately carved and polished with a fine finish. Its sweeping and gentle curves catch the light to showcase the darker specs seen within the stone. A lovely addition to any home or gift to friends or whanau.
Greenstone hook - 160mm high x 80mm wide x 2-3 mm thick
Complete ornament with wood base - 200mm high
Wood base - 75mm high x 125mm deep
The Hei Matau is carved in the shape of a stylised fishhook. It represents strength, prosperity, fertility, good luck and safe travel over water.
It’s meaning originated from the Maori legend of Maui who once caught a great fish using only a woven line and hook made from the jawbone of his grandmother. This fish is now said to be the North Island of New Zealand, known as ‘Te Ika a Maui’. Maori would often wear the Hei Matau for practical purposes so that it was not lost while fishing. Eventually, the hook worn around the neck became a good luck charm while fishing and voyaging across water.
The holder of the Hei Matau is seen as a provider and protector who is strong-willed and determined to succeed in life. As well as a symbol of power, authority, good health and abundance.