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Pounamu - what is it?

Updated: Apr 8, 2019

The sacred greenstone unique to New Zealand plays a key role in the relationship of Helene and Mere in 'The Pounamu Prophecy.'



Maori Word for Greenstone

Pounamu is a beautiful word for a beautiful stone. It is the Maori word for greenstone, a unique type of jade found only in the South Island of New Zealand. It is a sacred stone,  treasured by Maori as a sign of status or power and used for making peace. It is often carved into pendants and other jewellery which many tourists buy when they visit New Zealand.


Pounamu for Peace

In the past it was also carved into tools and weapons. Sometimes these valuable and most beautiful weapons were given to another tribe as a peace agreement. Pounamu is still used this way today. My husband's tribe gave pounamu as a gesture of peace to another tribe after a heated dispute over where his Mum should be buried.


Spiritual Qualities

Pounamu is smooth and cool to the touch. It has a depth of pattern, as though looking into the deepest green waters. In The Pounamu Prophecy, Helene experiences the cool, soothing effect of this remarkable stone. It is a stone that one could readily endow with spiritual qualities but as Helene is reminded by her friend, Mere:

'It is not the stone, but the maker of the stone that gives us peace.'

Kia tau te rangi marie.

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BE IN TOUCH

I love to have a sweet treat in the pantry and to pop into the school lunch-box but I also want it to have some nutritional value. This week I’ve been into nut cakes – carrot cake with lots of walnuts and this moist orange almond cake. Nuts are rich in protein and healthy unsaturated fat - great for good health!

This cake is easy to make – but you do need a food processor. It’s very high in protein from all the eggs and almonds, and it’s gluten free.

(Some baking powders are not gluten free so check the pack if you are making this cake for someone who can’t have gluten. If you dust the cake with icing sugar, as in the photo, check it is gluten free too.)

 

 

2 oranges

6 eggs, lightly beaten

250 grams sugar

300 grams ground almonds

1 teaspoon baking powder

Boil oranges in a little water for 1-2 hours.

Chop oranges roughly and let them cool down a bit. Then blend well in food processor with all the other ingredients. Line a large pan with grease-proof paper. Make sure the pan is large enough so the cake isn’t too thick or it will take too long to cook. Bake at 180C/350F for 1 hour – or perhaps a bit longer.

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