Hand carved from New Zealand jade by Ross Crump - these manaia are quite beautiful.
The Manaia is a kind deity that protects and helps people communicate with their ancestors. It is regarded as a mythical being, usually carved with a bird’s head, a human body and the tail of a fish. It is believed to be the invisible light, or aura, surrounding a person.
Manaia are considered to be messengers between the Gods and man.
In Māori culture the bird is thought to be an omen-carrier or intermediary between man and the spirits. That is why Manaia, with their specific body shape, represent spiritual power and are seen as the guides that lead the spirit to heaven.