How do I look after my taonga?
Although stone, Pounamu, Pakohe and Garnet will break if dropped or hit against hard surfaces.
We recommend you remove your taonga before playing sports or engaging in physical activities where it may come against hard surfaces.
Please be aware that longer chords have more potential to swing out when you lean forward and may bang you taonga on counter tops, sinks etc. This can be enough of a hit to chip or break your taonga so we recommend you tuck it down into your top if you are moving around such areas.
Wear your Pounamu against your skin as often as possible. It will naturally absorb oils from your skin that will help maintain its polish and it will become a holder of your wairua.
Your taonga can be oiled with any natural household oils or fats such as olive oil, coconut oil, vegetable oil or tallow. Rub on a little oil with your hands, leave for 5-10 minutes and then remove any excess with a soft cloth.
Do you bless the taonga?
We do not bless each individual taonga. Blessings, or karakia, is a complex topic and I will dive deeper into this in a blog. But the brief answer is that blessings, or karakia, have to align with time, space and place. They are specific to the receiver, not the carver or giver. It has to be done in a way that is right for you or it is purposeless.
The carvers space is inside the house of carving. Once the taonga leaves the carver their role in the creation of the taonga is finished. It is then up to the reciever to go to the kaumatua or your spiritual leaders to have their piece blessed.
In terms of Tim's mahi, karakia is a continual process of keeping the physical, mental and spiritual body in alignment. It is practised continually while carving. Tim says karakia over his work every morning and evening to keep everything in balance. He also says karakia while he gathers. Tim carves only when his mind and heart are in the right place, in alignment. Tim’s workshop has also been blessed by Kaumatua.
If you would like your taonga blessed but are not sure where to start we recommend you get in touch with the iwi of your rohe(your local marae is a good place to start). No matter who you are or where you are from you will be welcomed in and treated with care and respect.
What cultural practises do you follow?
This is another big, beautiful complex question that deserves its own blog.
Suffice to say, Taonga by Timoti have a great respect for the taonga we have been given the privilege to work with and every piece is treated with care and respect to tikanga. In everything we do we look to Tim's tupuna to guide our actions and processes.
I’ve heard that it is bad luck to buy Pounamu for myself, is this true?
There are many theories on this idea and we have done quite a bit of research into it. From our understanding there is no clear cultural practices that say it is bad luck to buy Pounamu for yourself. We believe you should guide yourself in this matter - if you feel strongly it should only be gifted then start leaving little hints around for your loved ones. If you are happy to buy it for yourself then go for it, you know best what you like after all. For a more indepth look at where this idea came from read our blog, "Can you buy pounamu for yourself".
Where is the taonga from?
We gather our taonga from the awa of Te Tau Ihu o Te Waka-a-Māui (see map link https://teara.govt.nz/en/map/540/te-tau-ihu-region ). We do not import stone from overseas. On occasion we do trade for taonga but only ever purchase stone from reputable licensed sellers.
What do the shapes represent?
We have descriptions of our understanding of each shape with each product piece. If you want more information there are many variations on google.
Why isn’t all your Pounamu green?
Large amounts of iron and the various other minerals in the area is what makes West Coast Pounamu green. Nelson pounamu has less iron, more copper and platinum and a different arrangement of minerals, this creates the amazing variety in colour.
Nelson Pounamu and Southland Pounamu were originally of the same field and have been separated over time by the great Alpine fault line.
What are the differences between Pounamu, Greenstone, Nephrite, Bowenite, Jade and NZ Jade?
Pounamu is the Māori word for hard dark green stone in the nephrite and serpentine family(this includes Bowenite) that were used to make tools, weapons, ceremonial pieces and jewellery.
Greenstone is the name Captain Cook gave it when he arrived in NZ and saw the Māori wearing and using “green stone” pieces.
Jade (or Jadeite) is a different mineral to Nephrite with different physical and chemical characteristics. Because Jade is similar in appearance and quality to Nephrite these two are often confused.
New Zealand Jade - because of the similarities between the minerals NZ Jade is another term some people use to describe NZ nephrite/Pounamu.
For more information on these concepts read our blog "Why we choose to use the word pounamu, over jade and greenstone."
Are you allowed to gather the taonga?
Yes, Taonga By Timoti is allowed to gather taonga. We have a working relationship with local iwi and we have sought and been given their blessing to gather taonga. There are legal restrictions around gathering these taonga in Te Tau Ihu o te Waka-a-Maui: You are only allowed to prospect what you can carry. All deposits of taonga situated on iwi land within Te Tau Ihu o te Waka-A-Maui is owned by the iwi that govern that rohe. All pounamu on private land is owned by that land owner. All pounamu situated on public land, where it is not a national reserve, is allowed to be prospected following the above law of only taking out what you can carry.
Pounamu in Te Tau Ihu o Te Waka-a-Māui is not under Ngai Tahu governance, however we recognise their role as senior Kaitiaki of all Pounamu in Te Wai Pounamu.
Do you repair Carvings?
We do repair carvings and in most cases will be able to help you. First we need to see the carving so send a selection of images along with information about the damage to us and we'll let you know what can be done and what it will cost.
Can you replace my broken cord?
Yes, we can replace your cord. If your carving is lashed we will need you to return it to us so we can change the cord. Please send images of the carving to us via the contact form and we can provide you with a quote for removing the lashing, changing the cord, and relashing your necklace.
Can you slice my stone?
If you have a taonga stone you would like sliced we are able to provide that service for you. Please contact us with the size of your stone and how many number of cuts you require and we can provide you with a quote for slicing.
Do you provide Laybuy?
Yes, we understand that our Taonga are lifetime investments and we want our products to be accessible to everyone. Please contact us to discuss payment options.