(pronounced man-eye-ah) a manaia is a traditional carving of a guardian angel, which usually has a birds head on a fishes body. they sit on your shoulder, and peck you if you do something wrong. a lot of meeting houses in new zealand have manaia carvings.

in Maori mythology, a manaia is a creature often depicted with the head of a bird and the body of a man, or other combinations of animals and people. Manaias are thought to be the intermediaries between the human world and the spirit world, and their images are thought to protect against evil. A common motif, images of manaias are often carved into the structures of houses or hafts of weapons and also worn as talismans.

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