The Poutama pattern, has widely been considered to represent stairway to heaven and levels of attainment. Where this definition originated from i am not sure. Possibly derived from the fact that it looks like steps or perhaps tribal definitions..
Another meaning of the Poutama pattern is that it represents Whakapapa. - Male Whakapapa Lineage carries the name of tupuna and continues forward. Pouwahine - or the female line does not
Poutama and Pouwahine have been merged together like various pieces in the collection to represent male and female whakapapa lines. Some of the pieces have been designed to be worn by either male or female as well.