Pounamu (New Zealand Jade) Maori Toki by master artist Tyson Lynes. The toki is the blade of and adze with which the great war canoes were carved from giant trees so is said to represent a crafts person or artist. www.boneart.co.nz
Maori did not have a written language until after the arrival of the missionaries. However, along with the oral histories passed between generations, much of the tribal histories and legends were permanently recorded for all to refer to in the carving and weaving of the various iwi (tribes). Weaving was just as carving a gift from the Gods.