The manaia is a spiritual guardian.
Contemporary Maori art, Maori design, crafted from plantation grown gaboon using laser technology. This piece of art boasts super fine detail, paua inlay and is mounted on an earth toned background inside a custom glass covered shadow box frame. Each piece is individually signed by our Maori artist Mike Carlton and comes complete with wall mount and related story to back.
- Overall size: 126mm x 161mm x 26mm (4.96″ x 6.34″ x 1.02″)
- comes with wall mount and back stand
- 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