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Sale price$35.00

Divine timing has blessed us with this incredible addition to the Matariki Collection, designed by Aiya, The Ink Witch. Display sets featuring this ancestral artistry will be added to our website over the next week. In Aiya's words: 

This Mataariki nail set comprises of a variety of ancient Māori symbols referred to as Tāniko & Tukutuku.

These sacred patterns have long been used as a form of written language in our weaving, carving, and tattooing. They express our stories, our whakapapa, & act as a historical record. 

The lands, seas, rivers, mountains and forests are our ancestors. The Earth is our Mother, The Sky our Father, The stars our ancestors, and all the elements are revered as Divine. In te Ao Māori - The Māori world, nature is not seen as something separate of us, but rather, we are one big whānau sharing the same Whakapapa all the way back to Io Matua Kore (The Supreme Being/Creator/Source).

Therefore, as Māori, all that we do, and all that we are, has traditionally been informed and inspired by Te Tai Ao - The Natural World. 

Naturally, these ancient symbols are derived from te Tai Ao, and are believed to carry the vibrational essence of the forms in which they represent.

Poutama - Stairway to Heaven

Niho Taniwha - Teeth of the Dragon

Maunga - Mountain

Niho kuri - Teeth of the dog

Pātiki - Flounder scales

Hae Hae - Whakapapa

Whetu - Star

In this context, the Poutama represents the ascension to the stars, our infinite connection to our tūpuna (ancestors), Ngā Atua (Gods and Goddess’) of the heavenly realms, and the journey home.

Similar to the poutama, the maunga shapes comprising of Niho taniwha also denote our relationship with the upper realms. There is the belief amidst te Ao Māori that when one stands atop the maunga, the maunga lifts one up to Rangi and the higher heavens. Maunga are highly sacred, and are a bridge and meeting point between Papatūānuku and Ranginui.

The Niho taniwha represent guidance and protection in one’s journey through both the physical and metaphysical realms. Niho taniwha represent our Kaitiaki/Guardians. The intention of their use here is to symbolise the strength, power, and magick of the Taniwha supporting the journey of our loved ones passed, as they venture back to the stars during Mataariki. They also represent the strength and support given to us as we mourn our deceased.

The Niho taniwha extend into another one of the designs, surrounding the haehae lines. The haehae lines represent whakapapa, and the encompassing Niho taniwha symbolise how they support our ancestors in their ascension to the heavens, embracing them in a protective korowai. Haehae also represent the past, present, and future. In this context they refer to the ancient Māori belief that we whakapapa back to the stars, and to them we shall return.

The Pātiki has a strong association with feminine energy, due to wāhine historically being the main hunters of them within many iwi. In the dark of night, our wāhine tūpuna would step out into the waters to catch Pātiki for the whānau. This is highly symbolic of the treasures hidden within the mysterious folds of darkness, much like our tūpuna whetu (ancestral stars) within the night sky. Just like the Pātiki, our ancestors continue to sustain and nourish us from the beyond. It also speaks to the great gifts we can discover hidden within the depths of our own darkness, such as the growth and wisdom we can obtain from our traumas, like moving through the grief of our loved ones passed. The Pātiki also represent the cycle of life; how life is born from darkness, and to the the darkness we return, only to shine therein. The pātiki, with both eyes one side, of the body, remind us to stay grounded as we continuously look towards the heavens.

The Pātiki in these compositions symbolise Mataariki, the Mother star herself, surrounded by her tamariki which are expressed through the classic whetu symbols. These whetu are also shown suspended above the maunga, further reinforcing how the Maunga uplift us to the heavens, and are portals to our tūpuna.

In one of the compositions, Mataariki expressed through Pātiki radiates Niho taniwha, showing her mana not only as Mother, generous nurturer, wisdom keeper and guide, but also as a fierce protector and Kaitiaki.

"E kore au e ngaro, he kākano i ruia mai i Rangiātea." 

'I shall never be lost, for I am a seed sown from the heavens of Rangiātea.'


Each foil sheet includes 12 Professional Nail Foils (37mm long)

Handmade with love in Aotearoa