Object Place: New Zealand; Object Place: Aotearoa
37.46 x 7.62 x 5.71 cm (14 3/4 x 3 x 2 1/4 in.)
Medium or Technique
Not On View
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.
1971, gift of Rowland Burdon-Muller (b. 1891 - d. 1980), Boston and Camden, ME, to the MFA. (Accession Date: October 13, 1971)
Gift of Rowland Burdon-Muller