New Zealand & Pacific
Unique, Handcrafted Jewellery & Art
Genuine Hand-Carved Bone, Shell, Pounamu & Wood Wearable Art
Discover the tradition, magic and beauty of
New Zealand Maori Carving
Māori carving carries significant meaning, with the intricate details of each piece representing people, iwi (tribes), places, values, and the stories of the past. At The Queenstown Gift Centre, we stock the finest quality, unique, hand carved pieces of jewellery, art and collectibles from the finest New Zealand artisans.
The ties that we have built up with New Zealand’s top carvers and jewellers over our 45 years allow us to source top quality items you would otherwise be unable to find.
WHAT MATERIAL ARE YOU AFTER?
Did you know?
The Gift Centre is Queenstown's oldest store. We opened our doors in 1976 and have been family-owned and operated for more than 45 years.
During this time we have cultivated relationships with NZ's best carvers and makers of fine jewellery.
Learn more about nz carving
GUIDE TO SHAPES AND SYMBOLISM
Each carving tells a story and records a piece of history. Carvings are rich in symbolism and use common patterns. Traditional patterns used in carving were often inspired by the natural environment, including spider webs (pūngāwerewere), fish scales (unaunahi) and the unfurling fronds of the fern (koru), amongst many others.
Giving and receiving Maori carvings
It is believed that a carving which is worn with respect or given and received with love, takes on part of the spirit of those who wear or handle it. In this way it becomes a spiritual link between people spanning time and distance.
The Maori have a great respect for nature and have many legends about the creation of the earth and all its inhabitants. Most carvings combine elements from several areas of mythology which interact with each other to tell a story.
ARE JADE AND GREENSTONE THE SAME THING?
WHAT IS POUNAMU?
Pounamu is a Māori word that refers to stones only found in New Zealand which are mainly of the nephrite variety, but also include some bowenite and serpentine. Jade is nephrite and can be found in other parts of the world too. Greenstone is only found in New Zealand.