Orokohanga kawakawa

Dean Marjoribanks


  • Orokohanga kawakawa
  • Orokohanga kawakawa
  • Orokohanga kawakawa
  • Orokohanga kawakawa

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This taonga in the shape of Te Orokohanga, was carved from Inanga 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.

’Te Orokohanga o te Ao’, is the Māori creation narrative, or otherwise ‘The creation of the Universe’. This shape reflects pūrākau (Māori oral traditions) that tell of the nature of the world around us in a state of perpetual becoming. Te Orokohanga, like many other Māori symbols, conveys an idea of constant, repeated creation. Te Orokohanga represents qualities of creation, energy, fertility, life, growth, energy and whakapapa (heritage). It manifests one’s physical and spiritual whakapapa, while guiding them through a world of constant renewal.

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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