Story: Pounamu – jade or greenstone

Carving of Turi

Carving of Turi

It is said that the paramount chief Turi, the top figure in this carving, had the great pounamu toki (adze) named Te Āwhiorangi passed down to him, through his ancestors, from the god Tāne. Tāne had used it to cut the sinews binding Ranginui (the sky) and Papatūānuku (the earth). In Turi’s time it was used to fashion the voyaging canoe, Aotea, which brought Turi and his people to New Zealand.

About this item

Te Tumu Herenga Waka Marae, Victoria University of Wellington

All rights to images of this marae are held by Te Tumu Herenga Waka Marae, Victoria University of Wellington

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How to cite this page:

Basil Keane, 'Pounamu – jade or greenstone - Symbols of chieftainship', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/photograph/7698/carving-of-turi (accessed 19 November 2017)

Story by Basil Keane, published 12 Jun 2006