The Greenstone Twist. Designed by nature.
13 Dec 2019

The Greenstone Twist. Designed by nature.

The twist symbolises friendship or love; the connection between two people.

Like the koru, the twist (or Pikorua)'s origins can be found in the native New Zealand landscape where it is said to depict two intertwining fern fronds, which as they connect, grow together - resembling the paths of life that two or more can take, in symmetry, forever together.

Although a contemporary design and holding little basis in Maori tradition, the twist has become a modern denotation for New Zealanders. A present-day insignia. In the same way a wedding ring is identifiable as meaning for eternity, the twist has become a symbol of connection and devotion; whether love, blood, or friendship. An opportunity to gift or wear something as a permanent reminder of that closeness, even when apart.

Triple twist design

Pictured: One of our twist corded necklaces.

The twist is a popular greenstone design and comes in many varying forms. There are no rules beyond the carvers imagination and interpretation of the piece, so you will see small single twists and more elaborate double or triple twists. They can range dramatically in styles from slender to wide, pointed to rounded and also incorporating other design elements such as the koru to allow for dual meanings such as love and new beginnings.

Greenstone Twist

An artist will also observe the natural tones and properties of the stone during the carving process, to amplify the qualities the stone itself has; to breathe into life the story the stone has to tell. This is where the real magic happens. Whether it’s using the yellow tones of flower jade (unique to New Zealand) to deliver a colour transient that adds depth. Or to bring to the fore the sparkles of the minerals that glisten, encased in the stone, so they sing like the stars in the universe.

Twist examples


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