Three pendants (hei tiki)

19th–20th century
Maori peoples

Object Place: New Zealand; Object Place: Aotearoa


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

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Stone; nephrite jade Pendant on left

On View

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


Africa and Oceania, Contemporary Art


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.


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