A koru necklace is a stunning accessory that pairs well with almost any aesthetic. Having said that, there are a few things you should know before buying one if you want to get the best quality possible and avoid looking silly or causing offence.
What Is A Koru Necklace?
A koru necklace is a traditional Maori jewellery piece. At its simplest form, this jewellery takes the shape of a spiral, however, this is often crafted with additional elements used to tell stories. As a general rule, each koru necklace is hand carved making each piece entirely unique.
What Does A Koru Necklace Symbolise?
The spiral design that is widely known and loved represents the opening of a frond of a New Zealand fern. It is often viewed as a symbol of creation and prosperity with an emphasis on bringing purity and new life. Maori culture often uses this symbol to portray how life changes while the circular aspects touch on many things staying the same. If the symbol on your koru necklace is in dual form, this can be used to indicate peace, growth and harmony. When gifted, this jewellery can be viewed as a sort of toast to new beginnings with hope for a positive relationship or friendship or good luck for a new phase of a relationship.
What Is A Koru Necklace Made Of?
Due to their traditional nature and cultural significance, these stunning hand carved jewellery pieces are often crafted from pounamu (a New Zealand greenstone, more commonly referred to as jade) or bone. While it is possible to get a koru necklace crafted from different material, it may not hold the same significance or authenticity so we strongly recommend ensuring that your piece has been crafted by a Maori artist.
What Design Options Are Available?
As noted above, the most common design for this type of jewellery is a spiral shape due to the natural inspiration. Having said that, closed circle versions are also quite popular and tend to carry the same meaning behind their creation. The elongated tear-drop shaped version of this jewellery tends to have extra elements added to tell a story so if you choose this option, be sure to learn about your new piece properly. Most traditional designs are presented on a woven cord, although contemporary versions have been known to be crafted entirely from metal and fixed to an appropriate chain.
What Should I Look For When Purchasing?
As a general rule, the main factors to consider when purchasing your new jewellery will be material, authenticity and craftsmanship. The highest quality pieces are always handmade and if at all possible, you’ll want to ensure that the item you are purchasing was crafted by a Maori artist.
Can Anyone Wear A Koru Necklace?
With cultural appropriation such a touchy subject these days, it can be hard to understand what is, and isn’t acceptable. The general consensus, however, is that as long as a culturally significant item or aesthetic is worn with appreciation, rather than simply for show or costume, you should be ok. Many people choose to purchase a koru necklace from a local Maori artist while travelling in New Zealand and as long as the origin of your piece is authentic and your intentions are good and true, you’ll generally be in the clear. Having said that, each person is entitled to make their own decisions about what is considered appropriate in regards to their culture so if you’re worried about offending any friends, it’s best to check with them first.
So there you have it, everything you need to know before buying a koru necklace.