Feb 5, 2020
Feb 5, 2020

Pendant (Hei-tiki)

Pendant (Hei-tiki)

1800s

Nephrite (greenstone)

Overall: 11.2 x 5.5 cm (4 7/16 x 2 3/16 in.)

John L. Severance Fund 1954.147

Location

Did you know?

Hei-tiki may represent Hine-te-Iwaiwa, a legendary ancestress who is the exemplar of Māori womanhood.

Description

Among the Māori, leaders are hereditary and imbued with mana, power and prestige that can be embodied and passed down in the artworks associated with them. Hei-tiki are among these treasured, mana-charged heirlooms, which connect the living to ancestors of the islands’ pre-European past. They may represent Hine-te-Iwaiwa, a legendary ancestress who is the exemplar of Māori womanhood and the patron of childbirth.

See also
Collection: 
Oceanic Art
Department: 
Oceania
Type of artwork: 
Sculpture

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