Greenstone adze with Maori manaia design with traditional binding, lashing. A beautifully carved greenstone adze, greenstone toki, with manaia design. The adze has the traditional binding, lashing.
The 'hei toki' represents strength, authority and mana. In the early days the toki (adze) was used as a tool. Nowadays it is a ceremonial treasure - taonga representing courage and strength in hard times. The toki represents great power and the toki were often gifted to warriors and chiefs.
The 'manaia' us the carrier of super natural powers. The manaia represents the sky, earth and sea and the balance between. The manaia also protects the wearer from evil. Spiritual Guardian, Provider, Protector over the air, waters and land.
The manaia is a supernatural being, an iwi guardian, to ward of danger, to frighten away intruders. The manaia is a bird-like figure, a spiritual and mythical creature. Some manaia were grotesque bird-like figures, others were almost human, but always with fierce facial expressions. Little is known about the true significance of specific designs, but there are certain common elements.
The figures are usually depicted in side profile - part in the spiritual world, part in this. There are three fingers and three toes or claws on each limb, and the designs are serpentine, producing flowing lines. spiritual guardian protector.