Hei Tiki

Hei Tiki

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About this item: Though the origins of the Tiki figure are lost in its antiquity, its status as the most prized of all the ’hei’ or wearable art pieces of the Maori will remain with us for ever.

About Pounamu: In Mythical times Poutini abducted the beautiful Waitaiki, and they set off to his home in the South Island. Tama, her husband, chased the pair and eventually Poutini, knowing they would be caught, changed Waitaiki into his own natural essence, Pounamu. Then he transformed himself into a taniwha and slipped past the angry Tama back to his home in the wild West Coast Ocean.

Waitaiki remains forever in the Arahura riverbed, but her children can be found as they swim down the river to meet their father, Poutini.

No matter what shapes the stone carver fashions as he seeks to enhance the natural beauty of the pounamu, each piece is forever also a child of Waitaiki and Poutini.

Protocol: Traditionally these treasures are given personal names and you are invited to continue that tradition.

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