Taniwha Niho – Mana Taonga

The Taniwha niho symbolises strength and guardianship, as that of the Taniwha.  It also symbolises iwi and community as the taniwha work to protect both.

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.

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.

Tim left the kiri(skin) on the top edge of this niho, so you could see and feel the pounamu in its original form. And you can see a little patch of kiri in the body of the niho.

Whakapapa notches down the side of this niho connect you to your tupuna. Historically each whakapapa notch represented a generation and the tohunga would recite the genealogy using the notches to aid his memory.

Learn more about the origins of Mana Taonga here.

  • Kawakawa pounamu from Te Tai Poutini
  • 112mm length x 50mm wide
  • 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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