Hei means ‘to wear around the neck’, Tiki means ‘first man.
Framed tiki carving from kauri wood. This carved tiki artwork crafted from 40,000 year old (estimate) New Zealand Kauri and mounted on an eye catching background with koru design that really makes the artwork pop! Also comes with related story at the back.
- Overall size: 126mm x 161mm x 26mm (4.96″ x 6.34″ x 1.02″)
- comes with wall mount
- description at the back of the frame
The origins of ‘Tiki’ are uncertain but throughout Maoridom he is acknowledged as the first man and that he came from the stars. he is sometimes depicted as an amphibious person with large fishloke eyes and webbed feet and considered the teacher of all things.
In some accounts of ancient Maori folklore ‘Tiki’ was the first man created by ‘Tane’ (God of the Forests and Men). ; Tiki’ formed woman from the earth after admiring his own reflection in the water.
“Hei Tiki” were regarded as precious taonga (treasures) and were predominantly carved from pounamu (greenstone). It is thought that the diverse forms of “Tiki” were the result of the carver being constrained by the shape of his stone as it was extremely hard and difficult to shape with primitive grinding tools.
“Hei Tiki” had spiritual significance to Maori. They were passed down from generation to generation and it was believed that they acquired the importance and power (mana) of each of the passed tipuna (ancestors) to have worn it.
The colonising Europeans assumed the “Hei Tiki” worn as a pendant by Maori women was primarily a fertility symbol and they became sought after as a valuable trading commodity.
Source: Mike Calton – Maori artist