Three pendants (hei tiki)

Maori peoples, New Zealand
19th–20th century
Maori peoples


Object Place: New Zealand

Dimensions

Overall: 10.2 x 4.4 x 0.6 cm (4 x 1 3/4 x 1/4 in.)

Accession Number

2004.2235

Medium or Technique

Stone; nephrite jade Pendant on left

On View

Arts of Asia, Oceania, and Africa Gallery (Gallery 177)

Collections

Africa and Oceania, Contemporary Art

Classifications

Personal accessories

Nephrite pendants in the form of contorted human figures were the most valued Maori possessions. It has been estimated that it required 750 hours to produce one pendant worn around the necks of both men and women, tiki were passed down through the generations. The imagery on tiki is thought to represent ancestors, corpses and fetuses. Each tiki had its own name and was addressed in person when brought out of the treasure box.

Provenance

By 1997, Landon Clay, Peterborough, NH; 2004, year-end gift of Landon Clay to the MFA. (Accession Date: February 23, 2005)

Credit Line

Gift of Landon T. Clay