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This taonga in the shape of the Mangōpare was carved from the dark stone of Ōnewa, or basalt rock in Hokianga, the Far North of Te Tai Tokerau by Ross McCabe of Ngā Puhi.
Mangōpare or the Smooth Hammerhead, Sphyrna zygaena, is a species of hammer shark that is often depicted in traditional kōwhaiwhai and carving. It is a fundamental symbol in toi Māori, or Māori art, and communicates values of strength, determination, leadership and level-headedness. Mangōpare are well recognised figures of persistence and courage, and represent the connection between mankind and Te Taiāo, the natural world.