"For all of us, becoming indigenous to a place means living as if your children's future mattered, to take care of the land as if our lives, both material and spiritual, depended on it." - Robin Wall Kimmerer, Braiding Sweetgrass
On our last trip to New Zealand, we went to visit my Mom's cousins, Memory and Ralph Hamon in Rotorua. Uncle Ralph is a talented carver who works with both bone and pounamu (Maori Greenstone or Jade). It was our first time meeting them, but Uncle and Aunty were so gracious to us and gifted us each a beautiful taonga.
My piece is a beautiful, pounamu piece with red coloring at the bottom and a fern koru carved into it. The red in the jade gets brighter in the sunlight and is said to be the blood of our Maori people inside the stone. Ronan's piece is a small pounamu pendant with three koru's or fern leaves carved into it to represent me, my husband, and Ronan. It was carved by my nephew Dion, Uncle Ralph's grandson. Last, Greg's piece is the powerful solid Koru (Spiral) carved from whale bone.
Uncle walked over to his whale bone section, very rare and very special, and grabbed the Koru and placed it on Greg's neck and said, "This one is for you!"
We also purchased a beautiful Whale Tale Pounamu pendant because it reminded us of Paikea, and my Ngati Porou ancestry.
His work is amazing and we are so honored to wear his pieces all the time.
We love you Uncle Ralph and Aunty Memory!
"Local Artist from Rotorua shares his impressive craftsmanship through one & many of natures beautiful stones, featured next is New Zealand Greenstone "Pounamu" the traditional Tiki.
Ralph comes from a family not short of many talents in the creative arts area and his shop is located at the well known Village of "Whakarewarewa" where you may even catch him in action sculpting his next master piece."