Ngutu Kiwi – Kiwi Beak pounamu earrings

For Māori, manu (birds) are highly regarded creatures.  Manu were believed to foretell the future with certain behaviours and predict the weather. Their plumage was used to adorn cloaks and the heads of chiefs.  And they were a food source.

The Kiwi has a particularly special place in the hearts of the people of Aotearoa.  The kiwi is known as ‘te manu huna a Tāne’, the hidden bird of Tāne, because it comes out mostly at night and is seldom seen. Kiwi meat was considered fit for chiefs. Their feathers were woven into rare, beautiful cloaks called kahu kiwi. These were considered taonga to be used on special ceremonial occasions.

Furthermore, the Kiwi beak is of particular interest. Because the Kiwi is nocturnal their eyesight is limited and they have a greater sense of sound, smell and touch.  Unusually, they have nostrils at the tip of their beak and have an exceptional sense of smell. The beak also has a sensory pit at the beak that allows them to feel the vibrations of their moving prey.  As it walks, the kiwi taps the ground with its beak, probing the soil and sniffing loudly. It can locate an earthworm up to three centimetres underground.   They then use their beak as a lever to open the hole and grab the worm.

So you can see, the Kiwi beak is an extraordinary thing!  The kiwi has also adapted to nocturnal living by growing whiskers at the base of their beak to help with navigation.  Tim has created these out of muka, the fibre extracted from Harakeke (flax) fronds.

The kiwi is a rare bird, a shy bird and an incredible skilful bird. It has even managed to survive after the introduction of numerous predatory species that could easily wipe out ground-dwelling creatures. Hence why Tim wanted to honour the bird, and its incredible beak, with a pair of beautiful earrings.

The perfect gift for that unique, skilful and beautiful wahine in your life.

Finer Details

  • Tangiwai pounamu gathered by us from Te Tau Ihu awa.
  • Length 140mm from top of hoop to bottom of pounamu.    Pounamu 115mm
  • Hung on 14 rolled rose gold hoops, made by us.


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