Matamua Whale 4
Whales and dolphins have a special place as the eldest children of Tangaroa and Hinemoana, the Sea Gods. The great Pacific Ocean is named Te Moananui a Kiwa, after their first child, Kiwa. Whales and dolphins often feature in myth and legend as Spirit Guides or as Guardians and sometimes pets. Their stranding is seen as a special gift from the Sea Gods, to be honoured by using them to create special treasures. The earliest surviving bone carvings often depicted highly stylized whales and these were duplicated in other materials as well. The wearing of whale and dolphin carvings continues the ancient bond people have with them either as guardian figures or as links to the spirit world.