Prior to the arrival of European settlers in New Zealand, the native Maori people had no written language. All information was conveyed via storytelling and by representation in materials like stone, wood and bone. Carving was an vital part of life and relationships for Maori.
Maori developed a collection of symbols which, over time, came to represent wisdom, information and connection, not just within families or tribes, but across generations. In-fact many carved pieces were buried with their owners only to be recollected later and passed on to another member of the whanau, or family. The intention behind this practice was that the mana and spirit of the ancestors would be then available to the next generation.
One symbol that offered a particularly important message was Roimata, or the drop stone. It is symbolic of the teardrop and a stylised version of the powerful Toki (the axe, representing strength, courage and leadership). The Roimata is often called the comfort stone, and was given as a way to show empathy, solidarity and shared emotion. Many people use the symbol of Roimata to convey reassurance and it is a powerful healing symbol also.
Traditionally the Roimata was given as a token of sympathy during times of sadness, and as a way to acknowledge someone’s loss and offer reassurance that they are not alone in their grief.
Today, Roimata can be a way to acknowledge that life can be tough and when people we love experience difficult times and struggles, we can let them know that they are cared for. Roimata allows us to show that although we cannot walk the path for someone, we care and we can walk alongside them through their struggles. When we face adversity and seek to remind ourselves that the world and universe is perfect, despite (and often because of) our problems, Roimata can be a token to encourage us to hang on in there.
While the Roimata is traditionally shaped as a longer teardrop, other shapes are also available and which have slightly different meanings. For example, some pendants are regarded as meditation touch stones and they signify a connection with the land (whenua). Some other shapes include:
- Long Slender Drops (Kuru): Helps encourage knowledge, confidence and independence.
- Squares and Rectangles: A guide or mentor bringing a solid grounding and reliability to others.
- Short Drops: Strength, confidence, loyalty and pride.
- Triangle: Representing independence, creativity and spiritual clarity
Roimata is available in the Tiki Kiwi range as both earrings and a pendant. Feel welcome to Shop HERE to find out more information about Roimata from my Classic Collection.