Thursday, 29 January 2009


My husband found a piece of greenstone I think. It is green with dark green lines on it. It is probably a normal stone but let me dream. Greenstone is the New Zealand name for jade and the Maori name is Pounamu. There are 4 main type; kawakawa, kaharangi, inanga and tangiwai. The Maori already used greenstone in pre European times for tools and for weapons because it is a very hard stone. They also use it for ornaments. Pounamu is a very special stone according to the Maori or as Peter Brailsford says:
"Pounamu is the sacred stone of this land. It is the core to the spirit of this land. Within the great rainbow of the planet, the colour of Aotearoa is green; the colour of healing. The stone of this land is Pounamu, which is often called greenstone. The spirit of this land is Aroha, or love, and the stone embodies that spirit. It is a very special stone. In Waitaha understanding, it is of the stars, Mere Pounamu, the star of many colours. Pounamu is not only green, it can be white, black, blue, green, light green, dark green, or golden. It has many, many colours. No matter what colour, its spirit is always the same. It is the stone of healing; it embodies the spirit of love. When we touch the stone, we touch into the stars, into the beginning of all. All that is, is of the stone, and the stone is all that is. The stone is of the beginning, it endures and is of the end. The stone is of the mountain that stands tall, that falls down into the river, is carried to the oceans, its boulders in the streams, t o finish up at the beaches as sand, to sink deep within the ocean, to be bedded down and become rock again, to be raised again in the future as mountains. So the song of the stone is an enduring one, of all ages. The spirit of Pounamu is the spirit of creation, the lore of the universe. The lore that drives the universe is love. That is the spirit of the stone."


In NZ you can buy beautifully crafted neck pendants from greenstone everywhere
They have a special meaning and I show you some of the most common The single, double or triple twist are eternity symbols. The single twist shows the joining of two people for eternity. Eventhough they move away from each other, their paths will cross again. It tells about the strength of bond, loyalty and love.
The double and triple twist have a similar meaning but refer to two people or cultures rather than individuals

The fishhook represents strength, prosperity and abundance It is also said to bring good luck and safety when travelling over water. The Hei Matau are also symbols of power and authority.

The Koru is seen as reaching towards the light, striving for perfection, encouraging new positive beginnings. It represents renewal and hope for the future and as such symbolises harmony and peace. The Maori people refer to the unfurling new shoot of the New Zealand fern as Koru.

Photo taken from

The Hei tiki is a very ancient symbol. Some say that he came from the stars and was the first man. Tiki was respected as a teacher of all things and the wearer of this symbol is therefore seen to posses clarity of thought, loyalty, great inner knowledge and strength of character.
The Tiki is a good luck charm when worn and is also regarded as a fertility symbol.
Aroha Marja


  1. I'm the first one to comment on this.I loved ur pictures.And ur last poem was enchanting.A dream poem like Kubla Khan by Coleridge!The end was surreal and powerful.And u must have missed my comments on ur last post.Do chk out my new poem.I miss ur comments.Haven't heard from you for along time.Hope u remember me!


  2. Thanks for this most educational post. I do like the NZ greenstone best amongst the variety of jade and the designs are quite exquisite.

  3. hi Marja, dankjewel voor je interessante uitleg over de betekenis van deze stenen. hoe is het met je? Ga je al bijna naar Nederland ( grapje hoor)

    Liefs groeten Happy weekend

    Greetings JoAnn Holland

  4. Very favorite kind of stone!
    Ons huis staat idd te koop..:(..we gaan nu op zoek naar een huis in Brabant! Mijn man heeft n nieuwe job,directeur van het Brabants orkest! We gaan spannende tijden tegemoet.

  5. Please come and visit me..there is a little something I would like to share...
    Happy Weekend:)

  6. And so, my ed u mar cation in NZ culture begins!

  7. When we travelled to England by ship many years ago we stopped at both islands of NZ. I remember seeing those tiki necklaces, in fact I'm sure my mum bought one.

  8. Deeptesh thank you As soon as I have time I visit you

    Happy you liked it LGS I think the greenstone here is very beautiful

    Hi Joan dankje Nog 2 maandjes en dan is het zover

    Oh gefeliciteerd dat is een interessante job. Mijn broer zal het wel kennen Hij heeft klarinet gespeeld als een hobbie vroeger en jaren in de muziek gezeten

    Yes Steve especially for you I like the name edu mar cation
    Ka kite ano

    Oh they are nice. I would love to buy one one day.

  9. I used to dislike jade as it was always associated with elder people. I have a beautiful jade bracelet from my grandmother and am thinking of changing the settings. I have been buying some jade recently, as they have more modern designs, simpler and nicer. Jade really has a strong relationship with the wearer and you are lucky to have found one. Big hugs for the weekend :D

  10. Kia ora Marja,
    Another little note about Greenstone is that is should always be given, gifted, to the wearer. I am still waiting for mine.

  11. Kia ora Marja

    I found much delight in reading this post which is very informative...learning about things, people and places in a nonchalant manner. I was a long-stay tourist in New Zealand and the richness in its culture, topography, people, language could keep one there for years without being bored. The more I interact with all things about Kiwi land my heart bleeds for my return to that place.

    Yes, Marja that stone is exquisitely beautiful. Living on an island with coral stones to see only I was overwhelmed with other types of stones my eyes saw for my first ever overseas trip to a big country in 1967. The country was Canada. The ordinary stone formation from centuries of volcanic and ice and whatever activities that formed that "maple-leaf" nation was awesome so I started collecting stones from places I visited during my two years stay in Canada (1967-1969). My souvenirs of rock types I collected came in very handy when I returned to my teaching post in the Barbadian school setting. I was able to show the contrast between our coral stones and stones found in Canada and why that country has various types of stones and in Barbados we have only coral stones. You should have seen the delight in students eyes even thought these were only simple rocks. The things that tourists see beauty in quite often the natives wouldn't give a second glance. The maple-leaf was another type of foliage that fascinated my eyes. So much so that I made bookmarks of that leaf and gave them to my students when I returned home.

    I wanted so very much to buy Maori jewelry but I was given the impression that one had to be a Maori to wear the jewelry carvings because of the symbolism behind them. If that is not the case then surely I know what to do the next time I'm in that part of the world.

    Thank you for a lovely post.


  12. M.Kate I didn't have any interest in it till I came here. They have very beautiful jade here. The stone was just a normal stone. Ah well

  13. Thanks for that Robb. I indeed totally forgot about that important detail

    Hopefully we meet one day than Paterika. I do axactly the same From every holiday I come home with heaps of stones. Sometimes also shells and driftwood. I especially love stones and after a while most of them end up in the garden

  14. Feel free to dream, we are all allow to do that, but I really doubt that the stone is Greenstone. It does look very pretty nestled in your hand though, and it can be whatever you wish it to be.
    I think all of us have at lest one greenstone necklace or bracelet, I have both.

  15. Great post,Marja!Good luck with your green stone.

  16. I'm always amazed at the similarity between, the aboriginal Maori, Native American, Australian Aborigines and the Celts. The life they led, their belief system, their symbolism to name but a few. Thank you for your interesting words and photos,
    regards from Ireland
    Oonagh B.McCann...CeltoiCroi


Thank you for your comment