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Skilled Maori craftspeople used pounamu to create beautiful adornments.
They drew out the special qualities of the stone in the forms they chose, especially its luminescence. Long, thin pendants, for example, let the light shine through, highlighting brilliant greens and natural patterns.
Some designs were inspired by the natural world, and others symbolised elements of the spiritual realm.
The notches on the hei whakapapa (genealogical pendant) on the right are thought to represent ancestral lineages.
The other three pendants are playful and unique, reflecting the creativity of ancient Maori artists. They appear to be based on fish, human, and bird forms.