Taonga meanings

Tāniko Designs

Each contemporary kakahu piece that we design has a taniko - a woven band which commonly sits at the very top.  We have before been asked to customise a piece by having the tāniko on the sides or only at the very end of our pieces.  Traditionally the tāniko was placed at the end of the piece to give it weight and to help it sit better.

Commonly used designs




The patiki or flounder design symbolises prosperity and good luck.



Waharua or Whakarua Kōpito or Waharua kōpito* consists of vertically paired diamond shapes. The literal translation is ‘a point where people or events cross’. The pattern is a reminder that change occurs at such meeting points. weddings, graduations, farewells and other occasions.



Poutama design symbolises the growth of man, striving ever upwards. The poutama (step-like pattern) has both religious and educational meanings.


Bone Carvings

Koru (spiral)

This design can symbolise new life, growth, strength and peace.

Pikorua (double twist)


Meaning - eternal and emerging paths in life.

The twist symbolises the strength of the bond between two people, their loyalty and friendship.

Hei Matau (Fish hook)

It represents not only a bond between the sea and land, but also prosperity, fertility and safe passage over water. It symbolises how important fishing is to Māori, and their relationship to Tangaroa (God of the sea).