The Toki was a originally a tool used by Maori. The pounamu was painstakingly shaped into heavy and robust forms and could be either lashed to a handle or held in the hand. They were used for cutting down trees, carving out canoes/waka, or carving designs into meeting houses/marae.
A finer version with a more delicate Toki lashed to an elaborately carved handle were reserved for powerful cheifs/rangatira. These were used for ceremonial purposes, they are called ‘Toki Poutangata’.
The modern Hei Toki, often worn around the neck as a pendant, represents foremost strength, authority, and leadership. It is can also a symbol of power, courage, wisdom, determination, self-control, and focus.