Niho Taniwha in Kokopu pounamu
Niho Taniwha, tooth of the taniwha.
The pounamu Taniwha Niho symbolises strength and guardianship, as that of the Taniwha. It also symbolises iwi and community as the taniwha work to protect both.
Taniwha are supernatural creatures that live in the watery depths of rivers, seas, lakes and caves around Aotearoa. They take various shapes from dragons and serpents to sharks or logs of wood.
Taniwha can be both kaitiaki of a place or person or dangerous beings. But when treated with the appropriate respect taniwha usually act kindly toward humans.
Most iwi have their own taniwha. Many taniwha came to Aotearoa as guardians of the different ancestral waka and stayed on to be kaitiaki over the descendants of the original crew. As kaitiaki Taniwha might warn of an enemys approach or save someone from drowning.
Taniwha play a vital role in maintaining the balance of day to day life as they ensure that people respect the restrictions imposed by tapu. They also make certain that any violations are punished.
Poutini was a taniwha who protected both the people and the mauri of pounamu. And Tim himself was led to his first pounamu (and subsequent others) when a pounamu taniwha appeared to him in a dream. Read more on that beautiful story here.
The notches on the side symbolise your whakapapa line.
Tim left one side of this Taniwha Niho raw so that you could feel the natural state of the pounamu. It’s great for those who like to fiddle with something, or when you need to feel ground to the whenua. Plus just looking at all those stunning colours is quite mesmerising.
- Kokopu pounamu gathered by Tim from Te Tau Ihu awa.
- Length 100mm x 40mm widest point.
- A one-of-a-kind taonga by Timoti.
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