The Māori people were the original settlers of Aotearoa (New Zealand). Their culture and history is rich and beautiful, and to this day is an important part of New Zealand’s culture. Their legends around the creation of the world and this beautiful land have always captured my imagination.
A Hei Matau is a bone or greenstone depiction of the Hook of Maui. Māori legend holds that the North Island of New Zealand was once a huge fish that was caught by the great mariner Maui using only a woven line and a bone hook. Legend holds that the shape of Hawke Bay is that of the hei matau, which caught in the fish’s side.
For the Māori, the hei matau is taonga (a cultural treasure). It represents not only their land, but also prosperity, fertility and safe passage over water. They also denote the importance of fishing to Māori, and their relationship to Tangaroa, god of the sea.
This Hei Matau is the second one I’ve drawn, the other one also being in my portfolio, hence the name Hei Matau Tuarua, meaning Hei Matau the Second. :)

Roller ball on 100 gsm cartridge paper.

500+ Viewings Group: 781 views at the time of submission.

Featured in Art In Math 31 March 2009.
Featured in Finks of Inks 4 April, 2009.
Featured in Finks of Inks 7 May, 2009.


white, black, zealand, ink, new, aboriginal, ball, roller, maori, legend, hei, matau

Tara is a New Zealand artist and musician. Her primary visual medium is photography, sometimes combined with other media into mixed media works or digital works. Her portfolio is extensive and varied, including macro photography, digital fantasy works, paintings, portraiture and nature photography. Tara is available for commissioned artworks as well as client portraiture sessions, please contact her on for more information or visit her website at

View Full Profile


  • Carol Berliner
    Carol Berlinerover 5 years ago

    soooo cooool

  • THanks Carol!!! :)

    – Tara Lemana

  • Sally Omar
    Sally Omarover 5 years ago

    Beautiful design!!!!!!!!!!! xoxoxoxo

  • Thanks Sally! :) xx

    – Tara Lemana

  • tom burke
    tom burkeover 5 years ago

    great design, I know its from new zealand ,very similar to celtic symbols

  • Thanks Tom, glad you like it, and now that you mention it, I guess it does have a bit of a Celtic look about it, too, doesn’t it?! How odd! :)

    – Tara Lemana

  • solareclips~Julie  Alexander
    solareclips~Ju...over 5 years ago

  • Thank you for accepting it Julie, and thanks for the shiny comment!!! :)

    – Tara Lemana

  • jewd barclay
    jewd barclayover 5 years ago
    I love symbols, this is powerful…
  • Thanks Jewd, appreciate you stopping by! Thanks for the lovely comment!

    – Tara Lemana

  • wutz4tea
    wutz4teaover 5 years ago

    I love indigenous art!! In the US we also have (or the Natives) have a rich culture as well! Awesome!(and it would also make a great tatoo!!

  • THanks!!! And I agree, I may just get this one done as a tat one day…… :D

    – Tara Lemana

  • KazM
    KazMover 5 years ago

    Fabulous to be featured in Finks of Inks with such incredible company

  • Right back at ya Kaz, thanks so much for the lovely comment!! :)

    – Tara Lemana

  • BGlatzeder
    BGlatzederover 5 years ago

    Congrats on the feature! Well deserved! What pleasant company :-)))

  • Thanks love, and the same goes for you!!! :) xx

    – Tara Lemana

  • Luke Brannon
    Luke Brannonabout 5 years ago

    Congratulations! You’ve been featured in the Finks of Ink!

  • Aww thanks so much Luke, that’s awesome!! :)

    – Tara Lemana

  • Lesley A Marsh
    Lesley A Marshover 3 years ago

    Ka pai…..L.A.

desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait