Greenstone – New Zealand Taonga

Greenstone is your typical nom de plume for two kinds of rock found at the South Island of New Zealand. The more common of the two is Nephrite, a calcium magnesium silicate and the next, Bowenite, a iron calcium silicate. Increasingly the Maori name for Greenstone, Pounamu, has been embraced back into common use by New Zealanders.

To Maori Pounamu is known as Taonga or treasure as well as the significance put on it could be observed in the title initially given by maori to the south island of New Zealand – “Te Wahi Pouname” or even “instead of Pounamu”.

To the broader world Greenstone can also be called New Zealand Jade, Jade function as the widely used expression to describe the nutritional supplements Nephrite commonly shades of grays and greens, along with Jadeite including additionally whites, reds, pinks and violets. Bowenite falls away from the classification of Jade but in New Zealand it’s considered Pounamu or Greenstone.

Recently as part of the Waitangi Tribunal procedure for addressing grievances from the Maori Peoples of New Zealand, possession of Pounamu happening in its natural condition was vested in the Ngai Tahu tribe. Most manipulation of Pounamu or Greenstone is closely controlled by Ngai Tahu so as to guarantee the sustainability of this rock for future generations. Ngai tahu, nevertheless, recognising that assortment of Greenstone is regarded by all New Zealanders to participate in the cultural heritage, permit the group of Greenstone from south island west coast beaches in which the rock was subjected by natural processes of erosion and is of a size which one individual can take it.

Where can it be located?

Though smaller deposits are located in different places around the Earth, the key modern supply of Nephrite Jade is Canada. New Zealand Nephrite comes only in the South Island Of New Zealand and also Bowenite from Only a small region around Milford Sound.

What’s it used for?

Historically, as Maori had no compounds Poumanu was used to create weapons like the club or only and resources such as adzes along with personal ornaments like Hei Tiki, Manaia, Fishhooks and Koru. These products were are respected and passed down by families as heirlooms. Nowadays, Greenstone or Pounamu carvings are a favorite present for New Zealanders and visitors alike.

Due to the hardness of the substance contemporary carvers utilize diamond edged tools to operate the rock to exquisite traditional and contemporary layouts (That is however far simpler than the methods that our ancestors required to use!) .

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