Monday, February 21, 2011

Koru, koru and yet more Koru

Ever wondered why the Koru is so commonly used on NZ gifts and Maori Art? We see a lot of Koru, and if you shop for gifts in NZ you probably do too, so thought it time to explain...

Greenstone pendant in Koru design

Stunning Art glass bowl

Handblown Glass Korus contact us for details
The Koru or spiral is one of the most widely used designs or shapes in New Zealand arts, crafts and design. From old Maori meeting houses through to corporate business logos, arts and crafts, and NZ gifts, the Koru is widely seen throughout New Zealand.

But how and why has the Koru become so prevalent in many NZ gifts, icons and logos?

It has long featured in Maori carvings and decorations, usually incorporated and repeated as part of the overall design. (For example the Kowhaiwhai design in the Business Card holder below incorporates four Koru).

Business Card Holder in Kowhaiwhai design

Early Maori  found inspiration for the Koru in nature; it is a Maori artistic interpretation of the growing fern fronds (for example the now famous Silver Fern). Each fern frond emerges from the heart of the fern plant in a tightly coiled form, uncurling as it matures. 

Uncurling Fern Frond - Acrylic Photo Block

This is a clue to the meaning of the Koru design. From this beautiful growing fern is easy to see how the Koru symbolises growth and new beginnings.  This theme of 'Growth' makes it a appropriate sentiment for many occasions, from gifts for a new business relationship through to a gift marking some personal growth.

Koru Fern Fron glass coasters

 So not only does the Koru happen to have a modern stylish shape, its special meaning makes the Koru an appropriate icon for both uniquely NZ gifts, (for personal and businesses gifting) and even for organisational use. (Take another look at our logo.)

It is no wonder that so many NZ gifts feature this meaningful little spiral.

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