I first encountered the koru symbol on a trip to New Zealand in 2012. The Koru is one of many Maori symbols that are popular in this small island nation. The indigenous Maori population of New Zealand has its origins in the trans-oceanic migrations of Polynesian peoples over a thousand years ago, so I shouldn’t have been surprised to find the Koru and other Maori/Polynesian symbols again on trips to both Alaska and Hawaii, with their populations of Pacific Islanders/Polynesians.
The koru (Māori for “loop”) is a spiral shape based on the unfolding frond of the fern. This iconic image of the silver fern frond is both a cornerstone of New Zealand culture and also an integral symbol in Māori art, carving, and tattoos.
The circular shape of the koru conveys perpetual movement, while its inward coil suggests a return to its point of origin. The koru, therefore, symbolizes the way in which life both changes and stays the same. In addition, the koru symbolizes personal growth, strength, positive change, awakening, peace, and tranquility. It is also associated with new life and harmony, making it a wonderful gift for a new parent or child, newlyweds, or anyone starting on a new phase of his/her life.
These koru pendants incorporate koru design elements that I picked up while in Hawaii last year.