Dean Marjoribanks


  • Kapeu
  • Kapeu
  • Kapeu

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This taonga in the shape of the Kapeu was carved from Kawakawa Pounamu from the Arahura valley on the West Coast of Te Wai Pounamu; also known as the South Island, by Dean Marjoribanks of Te Whānau-a-Apanui.

Kapeu were traditionally worn as ear pendants, most notably by chiefs and people of high-rank within Māori society. They take on the tapu of the wearer and thus are sacred, possessing a great amount of energy and mauri (life force). This shape is particularly appropriate for parents with teething children as the curved lower end is an ideal shape for teething pēpi to rub against the gums and soothe the pain of new teeth, as is a traditional use of the kapeu. 

This piece is carved from Kawakawa Pounamu, which is the strongest and darkest form of pounamu, it exhibits a strong energy while grounding its wearer. Kawakawa receives its name from the native pepper tree,  Piper excelsum, which is also a fundamental source of rongoā Māori, or Māori medicine.

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