Whales, Dolphins, Turtles
The dominate forces for the Māori people has always come from the ocean representing the long distances traveled within their long canoes while living off the bounty of the tropical waters.
Māori have a great appreciation for the creatures of the sea, in particular for the dolphins and whales.
Playing an important part in the culture of the Māori people is the whale because of its great size and obvious intelligence. Often exhibited as an example of family love a Maori bone carving illustrating mother and calf always side by side and touching at every opportunity. Treasured as gifts by the gods… Beached whales. They were cherished especially for the bone which after several years of curing was utilized to carve ornate jewelry and art works passed down from generation to generation.