Mahuika’s Fingernail pounamu pebble.

Mahuika’s fingernail is carved from one whole pounamu pebble of the beautiful and rare Kokopu pounamu.  With its rich red outer skin and swirling golden interior Tim knew just what it was when he found it – Mahuika’s fingernail of fire.

Mahuika is the Māori goddess of fire, the essence of the flame. Fire burned from every pore of her body, her hair a ball of flames. Fire even leapt from her fingertips and toenails.  This taonga represents one of the toenails of fire gifted to Māui.  Like Mahuika who lived in a cave under a firey mountain, this taonga has been forged by incredible heat and pressure, whilst lying underground.

One day Māui began wondering where fire came from, so he set off to find Mahuika. Mahuika gave him one of her fingernails of fire. But Māui was a very curious man and after she had given him her first fingernail of fire he decided he would find out where Mahuika would get her fire from if all her fire was gone. So, over the course of the day, he tricked her into giving him all her fingernails and her toenails of fire.

Finally, Mahuika realised she’d been tricked and threw her last toenail of fire at Māui. It missed Māui and flew into the trees, planting itself in the trees of Mahoe, Totara, Patete, Pukatea and Kaikōmako. These trees cherished and held on to the fire, considering it a great gift. From that time Māori would gather sticks from these trees to rub together, using their friction to create fire.

This is a unique and beautiful pounamu taonga.  A rare find and a strong piece.

  • One of a kind taonga by Timoti
  • Raukaraka pounamu from Te Tau Ihu
  • 70mm length x 60mm width

💚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!💚



Availability: In stock


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