Kāhu Pounamu – Mana Taonga

Kāhu are the large beautiful harrier hawk(Circus approximans gouldi )you see riding the thermals, as they survey their kingdom from the skies.  Brown in colour with long-fingered wings, they are a majestic creature.

In this taonga, Tim has captured the face of kāhu alive and on the other side kāhu’s skeleton.   This is to reflect the balance of life and death, the path we all walk and the idea that we can walk this hikoi with the dignity and mana of the kāhu.

Kāhu are considered noble, like a chief.  Tohunga would use them to carry messages to atua as it was believed they could reach the heavens flying along spiritual pathways.

The demigod Māui changed into a kāhu to escape the flames from his grandmother Mahuika(atua of fire). The underside of his body was singed in the process, hence the red colouring we see on kāhu today. Tim included the red and black cord to symbolise this pūrākau.

Kāhu were sought for their feathers, to be used in head plumes known as Piki Kāhu and for decorating Kete. One kāhu made a fine meal.

If you have ever watched a kāhu soaring in the heavens or been lucky enough to hold one of these muscular and striking manu in your hands(as we have been) you will understand why they are revered in te ao Māori.  They exude  power, poise and dignity – mana.

Wear this kāhu with pride, let it carry you through the rough times and lift you above the muddle that life can be, so you too can carry yourself with dignity and strength through life.

Learn more about the origins of Mana Taonga here.

  • Kokopu from Te Tau Ihu
  • 100mm length x 36mm width x 20mm thick
  • One of a kind, taonga by Timoti

💚Now every taonga you purchase helps us to carve a taonga for EVERY tamariki in care in Aotearoa. You can read more about our Tū Māia project here. Ngā mihi mahana for your support of this kaupapa!💚


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