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Gifting | Blessing A Maori Carving

Within Māori culture, it is a customary tradition to bless a carving before it is worn. This relates to any carving whether it is bone, Jade (pounamu), or wood. Jade (pounamu) is a precious stone in Maori history and thus has a long-standing tradition of being gifted to others. Throughout history it has been used to seal bonds; whether for friendship, relationships, peace, or to show gratitude and thanks. The concept of gifting was central in the lives of Maori. It was a guiding principle and helped maintain the social ‘balance’ "mana" of individuals, communities and tribes.  Some of the most beautiful or significant carvings were also gifted to leading tribesmen, either for their strength or their spirituality. It was a high honour to receive a carved pounamu in this respect. The Maori people were very connected to the spiritual world and thus very connected to the earth around them. Greenstone is held in high regard as a taonga (treasure) within Maori culture. This is why pounamu carvings are considered a special and significant family heirloom. It is a strong and durable stone, so these carvings last for many generations, being gifted down the family line, as a true taonga (treasure). Many traditional items from history are still with the original family, having been passed down for many years. Alongside gifting within their tribes and families, pounamu was also historically used when tribal wars were over, signifying a gift that was to seal the peace treaty between the two tribes.

Reasons for Blessing

Tapu

Tapu is the strongest force in Māori life. It has numerous meanings and references. Tapu can be interpreted as sacred, prohibited, restricted, set apart or forbidden. A person, an object or a place, which is tapu, may not be touched by human contact. In some cases, not even approached. A person, object or a place could be made sacred by tapu for a certain time and the two main types of tapu were private and public. Private tapu concerned individuals, and public tapu concerned communities. Something or someone that is Tapu is put into the sphere of the sacred, it is untouchable, no longer to be put to common use.

Noa

Noa lifts the "tapu" from the person or the object. When tapu is removed, things become noa, the process being called whakanoa. This means that the object that was Tapu is now free from restrictions. It is now able to be put to common use.  "Noa" is similar to a blessing. Tapu and noa remain part of Māori culture today, although persons today are not subject to the same tapu as that of previous times. For this reason, many people like to have their carving blessed. This blessing, if done correctly, will purify the carving of any negativity that have been inadvertently placed into it during the process of its creation. Further to this, one who is qualified, may go a step further and invite powerful blessings of various holy beings to raise the vibration of the carving and thereby transform it into a true Taonga (treasure).
 

Blessing A Maori Carving

Blessed New Zealand Greenstone
Ngāi Tahu Authentic Pounamu/Greenstone
Dale Borland (NZ Greenstone range)
Evolve Pounamu NZ Greenstone Charm

These collections above are verified by the supplier as being blessed by the carver. Other greenstone, jade and maori carvings we stock are not blessed unless specified on the items description.

Blessing a Maori carving is recommended for traditional ceremonies. This can be done with your beliefs in mind, once you receive the article and prior to the new owner wearing it. The traditional concept of blessing comes from severing the natural stones connection to gods and the spiritual realm. It can be decided by the person gifting or receiving the stone as to whether they wish to partake in this belief as belief is personal and differing between individuals.

If you would like to bless your New Zealand Pounamu/Greenstone or would like to find more information on traditional Maori blessings and belief, we recommend contacting your local marae