Koru Maniaby Patricia Howitt
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ABOUT THE ART
One of our most-loved iconic symbols in Aotearoa New Zealand is the koru or spiral. Derived from the unfurling fern frond. it was developed by the Maori settlers into a powerful art form, widely used especially in wood carving. Using only stone tools, the Maori master carvers perfected the art of creating highly intricate curving forms in some of our hardest and most durable native timbers. The koru was used on ocean-going war canoes, marae or public buildings, tattoos and sculptures of the human figure.
Today the koru, usually in a stylized form, features widely in new Zealand iconography. It stands for new beginnings, growth, and power.
This design began as a detailed drawing of the unfolding fern frond as seen through a botanical magnifying lens. From there it developed into a variety of forms and color combinations. Massed together, these are 'Koru Mania'. Koru, spiral, symbol, fern, frond, unfolding, plant, new zealand, aotearoa.