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Friday 18 November 2011 | Published in Regional


The iconic paddle pendant is becoming so popular that each year ahead of Vaka Eiva, local jewellers get requests from overseas paddlers for updated versions of it.

Originally Moana Gems planned to run its paddle pendant promotion for five years only, but manager Jacqueline Tuara says the paddles are so popular shes reconsidering.

The first year we thought wed try it and see how it goes we thought wed do it as a collectors item and run it for five years. But its picking up and we might run it longer.

She says some returning paddlers collect pendants and have one of each design.

The pendants design each year drawn by Tuaras brother Allan differs each year. In past years the paddles have featured traditional Cook Islands motifs, but this year the design is a bit more modern.

Weve gone with a more modern design of a wave... the inspiration comes from the waves and the sea and the inspiration we get from it.

The designs name is Manava O Te Moana the soul of the ocean and inspired by the sea.

As in past years, the paddle is a limited edition, of which only 100 have been made. Seventy have black pearls attached and 30 do not.

The first year we made 30 with pearls (and 70 without), but this year its the opposite, Tuara said. We like the fact that the pearls are a special part of the Cook Islands and that we can associate them with Vaka Eiva.

Each pendant comes with an explanation of the story and meaning behind it.

Moana Gems will be selling its pendants from the Avarua shop and from a booth at Vaka Village. Paddlers are entitled to a 10% discount.

Tokerau Jim has carved a new paddle design this year the fourth in his Vaka Eiva series.

The design is a double paddle made of two pearl shells, one plain and one hand-engraved with Cook Islands motifs. The double paddle is a limited edition, as Tokerau Jim has carved just 20. However, he can make additional designs to order.

Goldmine is also selling paddle-shaped pendants and earrings three sizes in silver, one in gold and one studded with a black pearl. All are on display in the shops front window. The Avarua jewellery shop runs the paddle jewellery promotion every year during Vaka Eiva.