The manaia is a spiritual guardian.
Carved manaia artwork crafted from 40,000 year old (estimate) New Zealand Kauri and mounted on an eye catching background with koru design that really makes the artwork pop! Also comes with related story at the back.
- Overall size: 126mm x 161mm x 26mm (4.96″ x 6.34″ x 1.02″)
- comes with wall mount
- description at the back of the frame
The manaia is a guardian spirit (a supernatural being) and plays an important role in the Maori world. To the Maori every person on Earth has a Guardian Spirit which can be described as an unseen light surrounding each individual.
During life this guardian is a protector from evil and untimely accident. At death the guardian guides the spirit of the departed person safely to a spiritual doorway where it is re-united with the ancestors from the ancient homeland of Hawaiki.
Te Manaia (the manaia) are usually depicted in side profile, symbolising their role as messengers (ie. part in the spirit world and part in the earthly world).
They normally have the had of a bird (sky) the body of a man (earth) and the tail of a fish (sea) symbolic of the balance they have between the realms.
The three fingers and toes have varied tribal meanings. To some they represent birth, life and death. to others they represent the three baskets of knowledge and yet to others faith, hope and love.
Sometimes Te Manaia is depicted with a fourth finger, symbolising the afterlife.
Source: Mike Calton – Maori artist