What Is Paua?

Are you curious to know what is paua? You have come to the right place as I am going to tell you everything about paua in a very simple explanation. Without further discussion let’s begin to know what is paua?

Nestled in the coastal waters of New Zealand lies a vibrant and iridescent gem that captivates hearts and souls alike—the Paua shell. Admired for its mesmerizing hues and revered for its cultural significance, Paua holds a special place both in nature’s marvels and in the hearts of those who cherish its beauty.

What Is Paua?

Paua, also known as the New Zealand Abalone, boasts a stunning array of colors ranging from deep blues and greens to purples and pinks. Its iridescence is a result of light interacting with layers of proteins and calcium within the shell, creating an ethereal play of colors akin to the aurora borealis captured within a shell.

Cultural Significance

For the indigenous Māori people of New Zealand, Paua holds deep cultural significance. Revered as a symbol of beauty, strength, and connectedness to the ocean, Paua features prominently in their art, jewelry, and traditional ceremonies. The vibrant hues of the shell are often incorporated into intricate carvings and jewelry, celebrating the spirit of the ocean and the land.

Utilization In Art And Craftsmanship

Paua’s captivating colors and durability make it a coveted material for artisans and craftsmen. From ornate jewelry pieces to decorative items and traditional Māori carvings, Paua lends its exquisite hues to creations that honor its natural allure. Its use extends beyond New Zealand, finding its way into global markets, admired for its uniqueness and beauty.

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Sustainability And Conservation

With growing admiration for Paua, efforts towards sustainability and conservation have become paramount. Regulations govern the harvesting of Paua to ensure its preservation and prevent overexploitation. Conscious efforts to protect marine habitats and adhere to ethical harvesting practices aim to sustain this precious resource for generations to come.

Paua Beyond Aesthetics

Beyond its visual appeal, Paua holds potential health benefits. Some cultures believe in the shell’s metaphysical properties, associating it with healing, strength, and emotional balance. While scientific evidence supporting these claims is limited, the cultural and spiritual significance of Paua remains a cherished aspect for many.


Paua, with its resplendent hues and cultural eminence, stands as a testament to the beauty and richness of nature. Its allure not only mesmerizes the beholder but also bridges cultures and traditions, weaving stories of the ocean’s treasures and the reverence for the natural world.

Embracing Paua’s Radiance

In a world where beauty is celebrated in myriad forms, Paua’s kaleidoscopic brilliance stands out as a testament to the wonders of nature. Its cultural significance, artistic applications, and shimmering colors serve as a reminder of the intricate tapestry woven by the ocean, inviting us to cherish and celebrate its splendor.


What Does Paua Taste Like?

Wild paua’s salty, ocean taste with a hint of sweetness is loved by Kiwis across New Zealand. From high-end restaurants to the classic kiwi BBQ, paua has a beautiful kaimoana taste but is subtle enough to be a hit with almost everyone.

Is Paua The Same As Abalone?

Paua is a species of abalone found along New Zealand shores, and as far north as the Philippines. The word Paua is actually Maori (a tribe in New Zealand) for Abalone. It is also known as rainbow abalone because it is the most colourful of all the abalone shells.

How Is Paua Eaten?

Salty and rich, yet balanced with a subtle sweetness, its cooked texture has been described as “somewhere in between scallop and calamari.” While it can be eaten both raw and whole, paua is probably at it’s best when minced or in a creamed form, where meat can be kept soft, savoured and/or turned into dark green …

Why Is Paua Valuable?

To Māori, pāua are recognised taonga, or treasure, esteemed both as kaimoana (seafood) and as a valued resource for traditional and contemporary arts and crafts. Pāua were often harvested by diving.

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