For the people of New Zealand, the Greenstone or NZ Jade, popularly known as Pounamu, is beyond just a souvenir because it has a significant spiritual treasure. The beautiful New Zealand Pounamu can be found in different places in the West Coast. This stone has been prized for its beauty, durability and strength.
Historically, Pounamu was used by the Maori as personal ornaments, weapons and tools. It’s also a denotation of having a great status in the society. Nowadays, the beauty of Pounamu is still appreciated because these jade brooches can be found in several galleries and shops in the West Coast. Arahura River in the Jade Country is the birthplace of this beautiful Pounamu, in the north of Hokitika.
Guardian of Pounamu
According to the legend, Poutini is the guardian of the Pounamu. Poutini is also a Taniwha, a giant water-being who abducted Waitaiki, a beautiful Maori woman from the North Island. He took her to the south and to the Arahura River eventually. Tamaahua, the husband of Waitaiki gave them a chase. Poutini feared the determination and strength of Tamaahua but he wants Waitaiki for himself and that if he could not have her, no one should. He transformed Waitaiki into a Pounamu then rested her in the stony waters of the Arahura River. The fragments of Jade broke off and rolled down the river flowing to the seas are believed to be Waitaiki’s offspring.
Finding Pounamu on the Beach
For fossickers, you still have the chance to take home a Pounamu home. You can find pieces of Pounamu that were washed down by storm along the beach. The outer skin of jade brooches appears to be grey or milky and have a soapy texture. Sometimes, you can be lucky to find green pieces of Pounamu that are already smoothed due to natural processes. However, remember that Pounamu that are found somewhere else are not allowed to be taken. You can only be a fossicker on beaches.
Pounamu are very strong jade brooches known for the beauty they possess. Local artisans and Maori were all drawn to the power of these jade brooches for many centuries and it’s now widely-used in the making of sculptures and jewelry. There are 5 main types of New Zealand Pounamu: Kahurangi, Kkopu, Inanga, Kawakawa and Tangiwai. All of these types have their own unique features and look.
One of the finest arts and crafts companies is Ariki New Zealand Greenstone Jewellery. The company works with the best Pounamu carvers and greenstone artists. All of Ariki’s artists share a common passion for jade brooches and are purely-driven to create beautiful carvings with the highest standards. They all work tirelessly to craft pieces of Pounamu carvings and greenstone jewelry that you can buy.
Ariki Greenstone Jewellery
Ariki New Zealand Greenstone Jewellery carves life into stone. Each of the pieces they created is hand-finished to ensure quality. Jade brooches have soft finishes, smooth lines, no cuts and no scratches. The products they sell are unique and personalized. If you want to buy your own New Zealand Pounamu greenstone, you can visit www.arikinz.com to find out more about the carvings, greenstones and sculptures available for purchase.