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Hei Tiki

2006.44.1441 (RS177333)

Description

Maori greenstone (pounamu) hei tiki, or human figure pendant, with paua shell eyes, from New Zealand/Aotearoa, The head of the female figure is tilted to the right with the hands resting on the thighs. Worn by both men and women, hei tiki are highly valued personal adornments and family heirlooms, passed down from generation to generation. Their meaning is unclear, but some believe they represent the first ancestor or are powerful symbols of fertility and birth.

Details

Maker
unknown
Inscriptions
"Teki of green stone from New Zealand Feb. 1924" (Black ink)
E47109 (handwritten)
E47,111 (handwritten)
Location of origin
Pacific Island Group
Associated Building
Original to Phillips House (Salem, Mass.).
Material
nephrite
shell (animal material)
Object type
Personal Symbol
Places
New Zealand
Descriptive terms
hei tiki
nephrite
Pendant
shell (animal material)
Dimensions
2 (W) (inches)
Accession Number
2006.44.1441
Credit Line
Gift of the Stephen Phillips Memorial Charitable Trust for Historic Preservation
GUSN
171342
Reference Notes
http://www.britishmuseum.org/explore/highlights/highlight_objects/aoa/n/nephrite_pendant_hei_tiki.aspx

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