Pounamu Hei Matau Taonga – Rua

This is a beautifully defined pounamu hei matau. Carved in a speckled pounamu that beautifully represents the movement of water around it.  With its strong lines this matau exudes dignity and refinement. A handsome taonga that would look equally in place worn on the marae, in the office, or at that summer BBQ.  Step out in confidence with your pounamu hei matau taonga.

We have carved two of these beautiful matau so that they may be bought as a pair if that suits your needs.  Husband and wife, siblings, best friends….. Stay connected, hooked on each other😏, with your hei matau. This matau is the larger of the two.  You can find the larger hei matau here.

  • 75mm length
  • Strung on adjustable cord so you can wear it at your perfect length.
The Story

Living on an island covered in lakes and rivers, Māori life depended upon the food sourced from the awa and moana. Māori were, and still are, skilled fisherpeople with extensive knowledge of all water life and how to catch it. They developed a variety of matau, each with different functions to lure and catch the various fish available to them.  These matau were sometimes worn around the neck for safekeeping between use and eventually became stylised jewellery taonga. Hence the name Hei Matau – hei means to tie around the neck and matau is a fish hook. 

The Hei Matau reflects your connection to the land as well as the sea as its shape stems from the Maori creation story of the North Island, Te Ika a Maui(The fish of Maui).  Te Ika a Maui was once a huge fish caught by Maui using only a woven one and a hook made from the jawbone of his grandmother. The shape of Hawkes Bay is that of the matau which caught in the fish’s side on the beach. 

Hei matau speak of someone who is a hard worker, and provider for their whanau, doing the mahi to feed and provide.  

As the symbol of a tool that would subjugate water creatures, they are also believed to provide safe passage over water and so are a wonderful gift for the fisherperson in your life who someone who loves to travel. 


Out of stock


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