Neck Ornament

Collection Type

  • Jewelry

GUSN

GUSN-102953

Description

Hawaiian "lei niho palaoa" neck ornament with a large, carved ivory pendant attached to many strands made from tightly braided human hair. Worn only by men and women of the elite class - ali'i - lei niho palaoa were potent symbols of status and sacred power.\n

Details

Descriptive Terms

necklaces
human hair
ivory (tooth component)
tusk
Necklace

Inscription

Note on index card: "Hawaiian Necklace - Palaoa, 191 strands (underlined)/ 'Niho Palaoa' or a necklace of human hair/ These ''palaoas'' carved whale ivory and/ mounted as this one on a necklace of/ braided human hair of many strands/ were a sort of insignia of the cheifs and/ always worn. Ones as large as this are/ very rare and rarely found perfect as/ they break easily if dropped./ Brought from Honolulu before 1830./ From the Reynolds collection 1917." (Two notes, one on brown paper wrapping, black ink, one on wihite lined index card.)
Note on brown paper: "HAWAIIAN/ NIHOA PALOA/ or Necklace/ Very Rare/ SW Phillips" (handwritten)

Associated Building

Original to Phillips House (Salem, Mass.),

Additional Identification Number

2406

Related Items

Title Pendant Accession Number 2006.44.1454

Maker

Unknown

Location of Origin

Pacific Island Group

Object Type

Adornment

Dimensions

8 1/8 x 1 7/8 (HxW) (inches)

Credit Line

Gift of the Stephen Phillips Memorial Charitable Trust for Historic Preservation

Accession Number

2006.44.420

Reference Notes

Volume 9, No. 1

Places

Hawaii (United States)