Green Stone

Wear this green stone when you are writing, and later on I will tell you a story about why it is special.  If you feel like fidgeting and not concentrating why don’t you just rub the greenstone instead.

This green stone, was given to me by a carver, Te Wahiri Heteraka who lives in Aotearoa, New Zealand.

He did not make it though.

I was visiting New Zealand to do interviews for my studies.

During this trip I went to visit Mr Heteraka’s workshop to interview him and find out about his carving.  He is an elder there.  He has done carvings for the council buildings and liases between the elders and the council.

When I was leaving the town in which Mr Heteraka lives, I went to say goodbye to him at his workshop.

He showed me this greenstone and asked me the following question.  “What does this green stone remind you of?”

What does it remind you of? What would you have said to Te Wahiri Heteraka

I answered, “It reminds me of a spade or a chisel and makes me think about lots of hard work.”

Te Wahiri Heteraka then told me that his son had carved the greenstone.  He was serving as an apprentice in his father’s workshop.  He then gave it to me to keep.

Do you know what an apprentice is Ben?

Master Carvers, like Mr Heteraka, do very beautiful carvings in wood, bone, and also green stone.  One of the things they make is a tiki.  They learn this by being apprentices, who learn from people who are very good at the craft or skill they wish to learn.

Greenstone is to be worn next to the skin.

I have a book about Maori carving, but it is in a box at the moment.   In it there are lots of pictures of master carving.

When you are very good at it, after lots of practice you can make beautiful things.  However, you must start learning the basic techniques.

This green stone that Mr Heteraka gave me shows a beginner carver’s work

When you wear this green stone, it is good to remember its story as you write.  It will remind you that you can become very good at something with lots of practice.

You have to begin somewhere.

What would happen if Mr Heteraka’s son did not start with this basic carving before doing more complicated ones?

Mr Heteraka gave me this greenstone.  A friend of his told me that this was a very special thing that he does not do for everyone and to treasure it.

When you are older and can look after it well, I will give you this greenstone, and you can remember its story.


(c) June Perkins


2 thoughts on “Green Stone

  1. I remember your visit well as I will never foget your enthusiasm and almost religious devotion for creative writing.

    All the best

    TeW H

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