Koru (Spiral)

Resembling the unfurling frond of the native New Zealand fern, the koru depicts new beginnings, life and hope.

Koru necklace on the forest floor

The Meaning of the Koru

The Koru Necklace is a spiral shape inspired by the unfurling frond of a native New Zealand silver fern. The design is beloved throughout Aotearoa and holds deep significance and meaning in Māori culture, being a fundamental symbol in Māori art, carving and tattooing.

The koru is an integral element of kowhaiwhai designs which are elaborate Māori scroll patterns traditionally painted on whare tipuna (meeting houses) or on waka (canoes). Beautiful kowhaiwhai patterns tell stories passed down through generations and are inspired by elements of nature such as the koru.


Koru (Spiral) Necklaces

Koru are some of the most loved symbols in our artistic vocabulary and are embedded with deep historical and cultural meaning.

Koru necklace on mossy floor

The koru's many meanings

The Koru design is used in Māori art as a symbol of creation due to its fluid circular shape. The outer coil conveys the idea of perpetual movement and portrays the continuous cycle of life and the interconnectedness of all living beings. Whereas the inner coil, the corm, with its rolled inner leaflets, suggests a return to the point of origin. Representing both perpetual movement and the return to the point of origin, the meaning of the koru connects us to life, growth and new beginnings.

In its balanced shape, the koru also represents harmony, reminding us that between the chaos of change and the calm of the every day, there is a point of equilibrium, a state of harmony in life.

Woman wearing koru in the river with a baby


pounamu meanings & designs