232 - Whale tooth - Koruru - whakamāriri - to calm, pacify
This Koruru (face of the guardian) is named Whakamāriri. This means to calm, pacify. It is the function of such guardian figures to assist us in our daily life by guiding us in ways that are leading us to ultimate happiness.
Sometimes they may appear in a wrathful aspect so to scare away negative or malevolent forces.
This Taonga (treasure) emphasises the importance of the oral teachings and stories passed down from generation to generation. Such knowledge is very precious and is easily lost if the lineage holders of this are unable to pass it down for various reasons.
Koruru (mask) - Whakamāriri - to calm, pacify
Protection, Whānau, Oral Teachings, Spiritual Journey
Dear friend, Kia Ora
This Taonga was a commission for a specific individual. Therefore some of these meanings relate specifically to them and their whanau.
This Koruru (face of the guardian) is named Whakamāriri. This means to calm, pacify. It is the function of such guardian figures to assist us in our daily life by guiding us in ways that are leading us to ultimate happiness. Sometimes they may appear in a wrathful aspect so to scare away negative or malevolent forces. This Taonga (treasure) emphasises the importance of the oral teachings and stories passed down from generation to generation. Such knowledge is very precious and is easily lost if the lineage holders of this are unable to pass it down for various reasons.
I think there are some close similarities between this aspect of Māori culture and my Buddhist faith where there is a strong tradition of oral teachings that are only available through receiving the transmission from the meditation masters who are the holders of the scared lineage. Additionally, it reveals the importance of education and knowledge. Utilising our potential to learn, grow and develop enables us to benefit others and to attain a deeper level of happiness.
The Taonga is made from whale tooth obtained through the takahanga Marae. The eyes are Pāua and there are some Mother of Pearl inlays as well.
Each marking on the Koruru tells a story. Within the forehead is a pattern that is the drawing down powerful healing energy and symbolises the opening of our wisdom eye. It averts mental dullness and opens our mind to its natural clarity. The pattern depicts the method of reaching up to draw the powerful light into our central channel. The bridge across the forehead of the guardian is clear. This symbolises a path clear of obstacles.
Connecting to this theme are the eyes which are an inlay of Pāua. I have left the area around them clear. This symbolises the power to ‘see’ clearly. By seeing, I mean with spiritual eyes and wisdom that induces inner peace. With wisdom we can overcome all challenges and navigate our life skilfully. This is greater than any worldly intelligence we may possess.
On the forehead, right in between the eyes is another clear ‘bridge’ and just under this is two koru. They represent your tamariki. The are held here in the heart of the Taonga. Thus they will always come under your spiritual protection. There is a maunga in between these koru. This depicts your mountain. At another level it also shows the ascending of many challenges and gaining the panoramic view of life from the peak of the summit.
The spirals on the cheeks depicts methods to receive blessings that empower our mind. At another level it symbolises the two bloodlines coming together into one. The lineage of your whanau. The lines either side are show the ancestral wisdom of tipuna pervading our life and assisting us in various ways. Beyond the vail we have many resources waiting to aid our way.
The large protruding tongue contains subtle markings that symbolise the pure speech. By this I mean hearing beautiful sounds, superior instructions, oral wisdom, and speech that creates a joyful and meaningful life.
The markings on the tongue also symbolises the twists and turns of life. We each are responsible for the decisions we make and at an even deeper level, they depict how the external world reflects our own mind. (Based on the mirroring of the pattern either side the line running down the middle). The two main koru patterns on the tongue symbolise new growth and learning we have acquired through listening and studying. It shows an overall evolvement of our wisdom and increasing potentials. They are reflecting each other. This shows that our mind is the creator of our world and reality. A pure mind creates a pure world. By mind, I mean the very deepest level of our innermost being which is very subtle and for most, is generally unknown.
There are three teeth. Each contain a Mother of Pearl inlay. Two large and one small. They represent strong determination and the ability to work through all situations the life presents. The outside large ones depict the grit and strength and the middle smaller one shows the wisdom of knowing when to apply more finesse to a situation.
On the back there is a simple pattern which represents the inner calm. Symbolised here is kete o te wānanga. The three baskets of knowledge obtained for mankind by the god Tāne. To acquire the baskets of knowledge, Tāne had to ascend to the twelfth heaven, to Te Toi-o-ngā-rangi, and there be ushered into the presence of the Supreme God, of Io-matua-kore himself, to make his request. The request was granted and hence the knowledge we now have in our possession and at our disposal. Tāne had to reconnoitre and negotiate eleven other heavens before ascending to the twelfth and there receive the knowledge he sought. The three baskets of knowledge are usually called te kete tuauri, te kete tuatea and te kete aronui.
The carving has been registered in my database of work. I sincerely hope you enjoy the carving and over time come to fully understand all the various layers of meaning imbued in this creation. I wish you and your whānau the deepest peace and happiness.
Database Reference: 100-232