Pikorua Maori Symbolism and Meanings (Explained)

pikorua maori

Have you ever come across the Pikorua Maori symbol and wondered what it means? This ancient symbol holds great significance in Maori culture and is rich in symbolism and meaning. In this article, we’ll explore the Pikorua Maori symbol, its origins, and the various meanings associated with it.

The Pikorua Maori symbol, also known as the twist or double twist, is a representation of the bond between two people. It symbolizes the strength and unity of a relationship, whether it be between partners, family members, or friends. The intertwining curves of the Pikorua symbolize the joining of two paths, forming an unbreakable bond.

But the Pikorua Maori symbol holds more than just a representation of relationships. It also embodies the concept of growth, harmony, and the eternal connection between all living things. The twist pattern signifies the continuous cycle of life, portraying the interconnectedness of past, present, and future generations.

What is the Pikorua Maori Symbol?

The Pikorua Maori symbol, also known as the “twist” or “figure-eight” symbol, is a significant symbol in Maori culture. It is a traditional Maori design that represents the bond between two people or cultures. The Pikorua is characterized by two intertwined loops that form an unbroken pattern, symbolizing the eternal connection between individuals or groups.

Cultural Significance of the Pikorua Maori Symbol

Interpretations of the Pikorua Maori Symbol

The Pikorua Maori symbol holds various interpretations and meanings in Maori culture. It is often associated with themes of connectedness, unity, and eternity. Here is a brief paragraph followed by a bullet list of different interpretations of the Pikorua Maori symbol:

  • Eternal Bond: The intertwined spirals of the Pikorua symbolize the eternal bond between loved ones, symbolizing the idea of eternal love, friendship, and loyalty.
  • Harmony and Unity: The crossing paths of the Pikorua represent the coming together of different individuals or groups in harmony and unity.
  • Interconnectedness: The Pikorua signifies the interconnectedness of different aspects of life, such as family, nature, and spirituality.
  • Whakapapa (Genealogy): The twisting and intertwining patterns of the Pikorua reflect the intricate connections between generations and the passing down of knowledge and traditions.
  • Balance and Harmony: The dual spiral shape of the Pikorua represents the balance and harmony between contrasting forces or elements, such as light and dark, masculine and feminine, or past and future.

These interpretations highlight the significance and depth of meaning associated with the Pikorua Maori symbol in Maori culture. The symbol is often cherished and worn as a meaningful piece of jewelry or incorporated into traditional Maori art and designs.

Traditional Usage of the Pikorua Maori Symbol

The Pikorua Maori symbol has a rich history and holds significant cultural importance in Maori tradition. It is commonly used in various aspects of Maori culture, including art, carving, and jewelry. The symbol is often depicted as a twisted, intertwined double spiral, symbolizing the strength and unity of two paths coming together.

Symbolic Representations

The Pikorua Maori symbol represents the eternal bond between two individuals or communities. It signifies the enduring connection between Maori tribes, families, and loved ones. The intertwining of the spirals represents the interconnectedness of life and the idea that no one is truly alone.

Love and Friendship

In Maori tradition, the Pikorua symbolizes love, friendship, and loyalty. It is often exchanged between loved ones or friends as a gesture of deep affection and mutual respect. The symbol is believed to strengthen the bond between individuals and ensure their enduring connection throughout life’s journey.

Whakapapa and Genealogy

The Pikorua Maori symbol is also associated with whakapapa, the Maori concept of genealogy and ancestral connections. It represents the interconnectedness of generations and the continuation of family lineage through time. The symbol is often used in family gatherings and ceremonies to honor and celebrate one’s heritage.

Protection and Guidance

The Pikorua Maori symbol is considered a protective talisman that provides guidance, support, and strength. It is believed to offer a sense of security and well-being to those who wear or display it. Many Maori people use the symbol as a token of protection, particularly during significant life events or important journeys.

Overall, the traditional usage of the Pikorua Maori symbol encompasses themes of unity, love, friendship, whakapapa, and protection. Its presence in Maori culture serves as a reminder of the values and connections that are held dear by the Maori people.

Historical Context of the Pikorua Maori Symbol

Common Maori Symbols and Their Meanings

Maori culture is rich with symbolism and incorporates a variety of unique symbols that hold significant meanings. These symbols are often used in Maori art, tattoos, and jewelry, and they represent various aspects of Maori beliefs, values, and traditions. Here are some common Maori symbols and their meanings:

  • Koru: The koru symbolizes new beginnings, growth, and harmony. It represents the unfurling fern frond and is commonly associated with the cycle of life.
  • Manaia: The manaia is a mythical creature that combines the features of humans, birds, and serpents. It represents spirituality, guardianship, and protection.
  • Taonga: The taonga symbolizes treasures or valuables. It is often used to represent something of great importance or significance to the Maori people.
  • Tiki: The tiki is a human-like figure with a large head and eyes. It is a talisman of good luck and fertility and is often worn as a pendant or used in carvings.
  • Hei Matau: The hei matau is a fishhook-shaped symbol that represents prosperity, strength, and good luck, particularly when fishing or traveling over water.
  • Pikorua: The pikorua, or double twist, is a symbol of the bond between two people, such as a friendship or a close relationship. It represents the interconnection of two lives.
  • Mangopare: The mangopare, or hammerhead shark, is a symbol of strength, adaptability, and determination. It represents the ability to overcome challenges and obstacles.

These are just a few examples of the many symbols used in Maori culture. Each symbol carries its own unique meaning and is deeply rooted in Maori traditions and spirituality.

The Pikorua Maori Symbol in Modern Context

The Pikorua Maori symbol, with its intertwined spiral design, continues to hold significance and meaning in modern contexts. While its origins are rooted in Maori culture and traditions, the symbol has transcended time and is now embraced by individuals and communities beyond the Maori people. Here, we explore the various ways in which the Pikorua Maori symbol is appreciated and incorporated in the modern world.

Symbol of Connection and Unity

In contemporary society, the Pikorua Maori symbol is often seen as a representation of connection and unity. Its intertwining design is symbolic of the bond between individuals, families, and communities. It serves as a reminder of the importance of relationships and the interconnectedness of all people. The symbol is frequently used in artwork, jewelry, and tattoos to express and celebrate these connections in a modern context.

Incorporation in Art and Design

The aesthetic appeal of the Pikorua Maori symbol has led to its incorporation in various forms of art and design. It is often featured in paintings, sculptures, and carvings, both traditional and contemporary. The symbol’s flowing lines and patterns make it visually striking and versatile, allowing it to be adapted to different mediums and styles. From contemporary artworks to modern interior design, the Pikorua Maori symbol adds a touch of cultural significance and beauty to various creative expressions.

Spiritual and Personal Growth Symbol

The Pikorua Maori symbol is also embraced by individuals seeking spiritual and personal growth. The interlocking spirals can represent the continuous journey of learning, self-discovery, and enlightenment. Many people find solace and inspiration in incorporating the symbol into their daily lives as a reminder of their own personal growth and development. Whether worn as jewelry or displayed as a symbol of affirmation, the Pikorua Maori symbol carries with it a sense of strength, resilience, and the potential for inner transformation.

Representation of Maori Identity

For the Maori people, the Pikorua Maori symbol remains an important aspect of cultural identity. It serves as a visual representation of their heritage, traditions, and values. In modern contexts, the symbol is often used to assert and celebrate Maori identity. It can be seen in various cultural events, ceremonies, and gatherings as a way to honor and promote Maori culture. Additionally, the Pikorua Maori symbol can be found on official emblems, logos, and signage, showcasing its significance as a recognizable symbol of Maori identity in contemporary society.

As we continue to appreciate and embrace the Pikorua Maori symbol in modern contexts, it is essential to do so with respect and understanding of its cultural origins. By acknowledging its significance and meaning, we can ensure the preservation of Maori culture and traditions while appreciating the enduring beauty and symbolism of the Pikorua Maori symbol in our contemporary world.

Appreciating and Incorporating the Pikorua Maori Symbol

The Pikorua Maori symbol holds deep cultural significance and meaning within the Maori culture. For those who appreciate this symbol and its rich history, there are various ways to incorporate it into their lives. Here are a few ways to appreciate and incorporate the Pikorua Maori symbol:

Art and Decor: The Pikorua Maori symbol can be beautifully represented in artwork and decor. From paintings and sculptures to carvings and tattoos, the Pikorua symbol can add a touch of Maori culture and symbolism to any space.

Jewelry: Many jewelry pieces feature the Pikorua Maori symbol as a way to wear and appreciate its meaning. Pendants, bracelets, earrings, and rings adorned with the Pikorua symbol are not only fashionable but also carry cultural significance.

Clothing and Accessories: Incorporating the Pikorua symbol into clothing and accessories is another way to appreciate and showcase this meaningful symbol. T-shirts, hats, bags, and even phone cases can feature the Pikorua symbol, allowing individuals to proudly display their appreciation for Maori culture.

Gifting: Giving gifts that incorporate the Pikorua Maori symbol can be a meaningful gesture. Whether it’s a piece of artwork, jewelry, or clothing, gifting items that showcase the Pikorua symbol allows others to appreciate its significance and learn about Maori culture.

Learning and Education: Taking the time to learn about the history, symbolism, and meanings behind the Pikorua Maori symbol is an important step in appreciating and incorporating it. By educating oneself and others about Maori culture, individuals can gain a deeper understanding and respect for the Pikorua symbol.

It is important to approach the incorporation of the Pikorua Maori symbol with respect and understanding. Appreciating and incorporating this symbol allows individuals to celebrate Maori culture and share its significance with others.


In conclusion, the Pikorua Maori symbol holds deep cultural significance and carries various interpretations. It is commonly used in traditional Maori art and holds historical context within Maori culture. The symbol also has relevance in modern times, with many individuals appreciating and incorporating it in various aspects of their lives.

By understanding the meaning and symbolism of the Pikorua, individuals can gain a deeper appreciation for Maori culture and incorporate the symbol in a respectful and meaningful way. Whether it is through art, jewelry, or other forms of expression, the Pikorua Maori symbol serves as a reminder of the rich heritage and traditions of the Maori people.

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