This large rei puta (neck pendant) is made from a sperm whale tooth, a rare and precious material in traditional Māori society. It has a stylised face engraved on the top and four holes drilled along its upper edge, for hanging around the neck. This rei puta, or one very like it, appears in Sydney Parkinson's portrait of the 'Head of a New Zealander', showing how the pendant was lashed to the flax neck cord.
Using this item
Permission of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa must be obtained before any re-use of this image.