Hei Tiki

Collection Type

  • Cultural artifacts

GUSN

GUSN-171342

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

Descriptive Terms

hei tiki
nephrite
shell (animal material)
Pendant

Inscription

"Teki of green stone from New Zealand Feb. 1924" (Black ink)
E47109 (handwritten)
E47,111 (handwritten)

Associated Building

Original to Phillips House (Salem, Mass.),

Additional Identification Number

E47,109
FD055

Maker

Unknown

Location of Origin

Pacific Island Group

Object Type

Personal Symbol

Dimensions

2 (W) (inches)

Credit Line

Gift of the Stephen Phillips Memorial Charitable Trust for Historic Preservation

Accession Number

2006.44.1441

Reference Notes

http://www.britishmuseum.org/explore/highlights/highlight_objects/aoa/n/nephrite_pendant_hei_tiki.aspx

Places

New Zealand