In New Zealand, however, tiki is usually applied to the human figure carved in greenstone as a neck ornament. The full name is hei-tiki.

In New Zealand, however, tiki is usually applied to the human figure carved in greenstone as a neck ornament. The full name is hei-tiki.

It has been suggested that this ornament is a fertility charm representing the human embryo, and that it should be worn only by women.

It has been suggested that this ornament is a fertility charm representing the human embryo, and that it should be worn only by women.

early European visitors saw men wearing the hei-tiki and it is probable that the squat shape of the figure was influenced by the hardness of the material and that it was later likened to an embryo and endowed with magical powers.

early European visitors saw men wearing the hei-tiki and it is probable that the squat shape of the figure was influenced by the hardness of the material and that it was later likened to an embryo and endowed with magical powers.

Tiki Pendant

Tiki Pendant

Image result for hei tiki traditional

Image result for hei tiki traditional

The shape is also probably due to the fact that tiki were often made from adze blades. Adzes and chisels made from greenstone were also prestige items and the shape of a greenstone adze lends itself to conversion into a tiki. There are several extant examples of half-finished tiki evidently originally small adzes and sometimes on completed tiki, traces of the original cutting end shaping of a adze can be seen, usually at the foot.

The shape is also probably due to the fact that tiki were often made from adze blades. Adzes and chisels made from greenstone were also prestige items and the shape of a greenstone adze lends itself to conversion into a tiki. There are several extant examples of half-finished tiki evidently originally small adzes and sometimes on completed tiki, traces of the original cutting end shaping of a adze can be seen, usually at the foot.

Ivory tiki - not as common as the green stone, but is alternate

Ivory tiki - not as common as the green stone, but is alternate

Tiki or heitiki are most commonly made from nephrite, a stone related to jade and found in several places in New Zealand's South Island. It is called pounamu in Maori, greenstone in New Zealand English. The Maori name for the South Island, Te Wai Pounamu, refers to this stone.

Tiki or heitiki are most commonly made from nephrite, a stone related to jade and found in several places in New Zealand's South Island. It is called pounamu in Maori, greenstone in New Zealand English. The Maori name for the South Island, Te Wai Pounamu, refers to this stone.

Alternate tiki design

Alternate tiki design

There is some variety in the forms of tiki but this variation has not been very fully studied in relation to region of origin. The head inclined left or right appears to have no particular significance. One clear variation is between tiki with the head upright and those with the head tilted sideways.

4 Maori Symbol Necklaces and their Meanings

There is some variety in the forms of tiki but this variation has not been very fully studied in relation to region of origin. The head inclined left or right appears to have no particular significance. One clear variation is between tiki with the head upright and those with the head tilted sideways.

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