Kāri Māori are a deck of thoughtfully designed playing cards that celebrate our beautiful Māori culture, language and art in every aspect. Released during Matariki 2021, Kāri Māori were created for young and old, to bring whānau and friends together around a table to banter, chuckle, and squabble over who cheated (it was Aunty)
100% Designed and made in Aotearoa, Kāri Māori are the product of a beautiful collaboration between Maimoa Creative and Konei. Watch the mini-documentary to hear more about the motivation, concept, the artist, the meaning and symbolism behind the designs, and the South Auckland tauira (high school students) involved.
BEHIND THE LINES
Artist Jordy Elise shares her whakaaro and influences that inspired the original artwork on Kāri Māori. With qualifications in Toi Māori (Māori Art) specialising in visual arts, and rāranga (weaving), Jordy brings immense depth and meaningful symbolism to the suits and characters that make up a deck of playing cards.
DESCRIPTIONS OF THE SUIT DESIGNS
The kākahu worn by the hearts cards is representative of a korowai (kākahu adorned with hukahuka). They are wearing a hei tiki, which can represent the human form, ancestors, fertility, and the atua Hine te Iwa Iwa. The Kōwhaiwhai depicted in the borders of the kākahu is a combination of mangotipi, which represents strength, courage and resilience, and koiri which means to grow and flourish.
Their hair is adorned with an Amokura (long tailed tropics bird) feather, which was a highly prized feather worn to show status.
Spades cards are depicted wearing pake (rain capes) woven from harakeke which has been half stripped to muka and half left whole to create tubes which water would flow over, the pake represents protection. The under shirt is inspired by the pattern aonui which represents knowledge of te taiao (the natural world) . They are holding kawakawa, an extremely versatile plant used in rongoa and within rituals. Adorning the hair is a heru, a sign of prestige.
The diamonds cards wear kākahu adorned with a styalised representation of the tāniko pattern Waharua Kōpito which creates a diamond design. This pattern represents a point where people or events cross, which, to me, expresses a sense of whanaungatanga. Huia feathers are worn in the hair signifying status. Roimata pounamu earrings express emotion and represent strength and courage especially in hard times.
The club cards are depicted holding a tokotoko (talking stick), which is a symbol of authority or status of the person holding it. They are wearing kaitaka: kākahu made with exposed muka and tāniko. The under shirt of the club is adorned with the poutama pattern, which often represents a journey of learning/tanes journey to retrieve the kete matauranga. They are wearing a toki pounamu, which represents courage and strength.