Lovely Hapopo Pounamu Niho or Tooth. Carved by Allan Moreton.
Taniwha when honoured and respected can be powerful protective guardians not only of people but places as well. With the ability to shape-shift, in the water they could be sharks, giant squids while on land could be dragon like creatures. These kaitiaki (guardians) live in depths of the rivers and sea often where dangerous currents are. They form a connection between the physical world and the spiritual world, ancestors.