Discover Traditional Pieces of NZ Maori Bone Carvings
Our collection of Maori bone carvings are made from genuine beef bone sourced in New Zealand. This material varies in texture and appearance which allows us to create completely unique bone pendants in both traditional and contemporary carving designs.
Traditional bone carving has a long history in the rich culture of New Zealand’s native Maori—the artform is so well-respected that a novice bone carver could expect to spend up to 20 years mastering the skill of bone and wood carving. In its beginnings bone carving was used to create useful tools like fishhooks and heru combs, but it eventually became a way to capture the myths and legends of the Māori people. Soon, Maori bone carvers were producing decorative bone pieces or wearable art to be hung around the neck and displayed proudly across the chest of the wearer. Traditionally these bone carvings were made from the Moa, a native flightless bird or from stranded whale but as these resources ran out, European-introduced animals like pigs, deer and cattle were used in their place.
While our bone carvings are certainly stunning in their design they also carry rich meaning and symbolism. All of the traditional patterns and styles are inspired by the natural environment which surround us in Aotearoa. Take the fishhook (Hei Matua) pendant for example, this carving represents prosperity, abundance, fertility, and strength, and is also seen as good luck charms especially for those travelling over water.
Bone carvings have a very special aura or feeling to them, they blend seamlessly with your body over time, taking on your spirit and energy. Find the perfect piece for yourself or your loved one, with our hand-crafted collection below.