Story: Māori clothing and adornment – kākahu Māori

Hei tiki – neck pendant

Hei tiki – neck pendant

The humanoid style of neck pendant called a hei tiki is one of the best-known items of traditional Māori body adornment, although other types of tiki are found throughout the islands of Polynesia. This example is worn by Mildred Amelia (Mīria) Pōmare, wife of Taranaki political leader Māui Pōmare. She is also wearing a large heru (ornamental comb) and huia feathers in her hair. 

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: 1/2-043506-F
Photograph by Stanley Polkinghorne Andrew

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Awhina Tamarapa and Patricia Wallace, 'Māori clothing and adornment – kākahu Māori - Amulets and ornaments', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/photograph/41021/hei-tiki-neck-pendant (accessed 4 April 2020)

Story by Awhina Tamarapa and Patricia Wallace, published 5 Sep 2013