Pounamu - New Lynn School

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By Nupur Mohini
Pounamu is the Māori name for jade, bowenite, or as
New Zealanders call it, greenstone. Pounamu is a highly
valued stone that is only found in the South Island, New
Zealand. Pounamu comes in many different shades.
There are four main types of pounamu. They are
kawakawa, kahurangi, īnanga and tangiwai. Kawakawa,
kahurangi and īnanga are nephrite jade, but tangiwai is a
form of bowenite. Kawakawa is a dark to rich green
colour, kahurangi is light green, īnanga is grey-green and
tangiwai is a olive-green to bluish-green colour.
Pounamu is best found after a storm, in a river or stream.
Some stones may be green as well, but pounamu is shiny
like glass. Sometimes pounamu is so hard to identify,
you have to cut it open. It is said that when you are
looking for pounamu, it will find you instead.
Pounamu is often used to make jewellery. They come in
different shapes and sizes. Each shape has a meaning,
which is usually representing the person’s personality.
Some words could be for example courageous, gentle,
strong, etc.
Pounamu plays a very important role in Māori culture. It
is considered a taonga (treasure) because it is sacred.
Tools, ornaments, weapons and neck pendants(or
jewellery) were made from it. These were believed to
have their own mana, were handed down as valued
heirlooms and were often given as gifts.
Pounamu jewellery is often given as gifts to international
visitors. It can also be for other things. For example the
actor Viggo Mortensen from The Lord of the Rings
started wearing a hei matau (neck pendant) around his
neck.
I hope you have learnt a lot about pounamu from this
PowerPoint. I have enjoyed researching and presenting
this. I have learnt fascinating facts and information
about pounamu. I hope you enjoyed my PowerPoint!
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