On my latest travels to New Zealand last December/January, mom and I went to Te Wairoa Buried Village, near Rotorua. In 1886 Mount Tarawera erupted, destroying the Pink and White Terraces and burying the village of Te Wairoa. Today, it’s the most visited archaeological site in New Zealand. I’ve always been fascinated by the story of the terraces and the volcanic eruption that caused so much damage. I’m so happy that I finally got to visit myself, and it was worth every second of it.
After exploring the village and educating ourselves on what happened, we ended up in the gift shop. I’ve always loved pounamu – Maori for jade or greenstone – and instantly fell in love with the piece you see pictured. Pounamu is very important in Maori culture; it’s considered a treasure and it’s protected under the Treaty of Waitangi. You’re not supposed to buy pounamu for yourself, unless a person important to you puts it over your head or if a Maori blesses it. In my case, there was a young Maori man working at the site and he was willing to bless it for me. I can’t remember exactly that he said, but it came down to him hoping the pounamu would guide me on my journey through life. It was beautiful, it was meaningful, it was very special. Thank you, Ryan.
I feel the pounamu has good energy and I love the way my skin warms it when I wear it. Maybe it’s a talisman, maybe that term doesn’t even cover the meaning for me. Whatever it is, I love it and I wear my pounamu with pride, respect and gratitude.
Featured image of the Pink and White Terraces: painting by J.C. Hoyte (1860-1879), image found through Google.