No, I don't carve 21st keys
Carved 21st keys are a colonised construct with Māori surface patterning added in attempt to make it feel like a culturally appropriate gift.
In my opinion, it's not.
Let's start with whakaaro Māori, shall we?
A 21st birthday is a significant event we like to celebrate because it's a stage where we acknowledge someone becoming an adult. It's a pretty arbitrary age, really, but it's still one we make a big deal about, so you want a meaningful gift.
Using whakaaro Māori, then, coming of age can be represented with all kinds of cultural iconography.
A hoe can represent paddling your own waka - being in charge of your own direction.
A patu can represent the ability to move into adulthood armed with the skills and resources to make progress.
A wakahuia can represent the treasures you carry with you into adulthood, and the ones you'll pick up along the way.
And those are only a few ideas. The possibilities are endless.
So contact me and tell me:
- your budget - if it's less than $600, you should probably talk to someone else
- the iwi connections of the person receiving the gift
- if you have any idea what you'd like (that's not a 21st key)
Questions are free!