Requires Photography

Feather box

Oceanic, New Zealand, Maori peoples
Artist Unidentified, Pacific Islander


Object Place: New Zealand

Dimensions

37.46 x 7.62 x 5.71 cm (14 3/4 x 3 x 2 1/4 in.)

Accession Number

1971.365a-b

Medium or Technique

Wood

Not On View

Collections

Africa and Oceania

Classifications

Boxes

Maori chiefs would use containers such as these to store personal property and valuable family heirlooms. Often referred to as feather boxes, these receptacles also held the tail feathers of the huia bird, which served as hair decoration emblematic of high rank. As personal possessions of chiefs, the container and its contents became imbued with tapu - restrictions governing actions to safeguard the spiritual potency of an object.

Provenance

1971, gift of Rowland Burdon-Muller (b. 1891 - d. 1980), Boston and Camden, ME, to the MFA. (Accession Date: October 13, 1971)

Credit Line

Gift of Rowland Burdon-Muller