Monday, April 7, 2008

Josh - OCEANIA - New Zealand

The word Tiki means Penis and is regarded as a good luck charm when worn and in some areas is also regarded as a fertility symbol. It is a very ancient symbol. The greater meaning isn’t understood, so there are a number of legends about its meaning. Some say he came from the stars and that he was the first man of the world. He is also often depicted with webbed feet which suggest a strong link to the creatures of the sea.

The Maori carvings have special significance. The pre-European Maori had no written language so tribal history and the stories of the gods were kept with the complex wood, bone, shell and jade carvings that were handed down through generations of tribal elders and became sacred objects "Taonga" in telling the history of a tribe and taking on the spirits of past great leaders and warriors.
Pendants, jewelry and various tools such as needles, spear tips and fish hooks made from bone developed into a fine art form with great importance being placed on every piece, many of which took years to make using stone tools. Some have inlays of precious stones or colourful shell. Every piece has a meaning behind the design.
The Maori have a great respect for nature and have many legends about the creation of the earth. Many of these legends revolve around the spirits or gods who created or protect each part of their world such as the mountains, the forests, the lakes and the creatures of the sea. This is seen in the smooth curves of the tiki’s
There are two kinds of Jade, Jadeite and Nephrite. The common names for Nephrite are Greenstone. Nephrite is found in New Zealand, Australia, Canada, and Russia. Nephrite is a silicate of calcium and magnesium and Jadeite is a silicate of sodium and aluminum.

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