Although hei tiki nephrite pendants were once worn - around the neck - indifferently by men and women, they were reserved for the exclusive use of high-ranking figures. Their great power (mana) was reinforced with each transmission, from one generation to the next. Within the corpus, this hei tiki, with its imposing proportions, stands out for the very large scale of its body and the superb quality of the nephrite (pounamu). The tension emanating from the interplay of curves and counter-curves is heightened by the inclined planes that bring the viewers gaze in depth and by the perfect balance in the the latticework. A subtle combination of the art of adornment and a manifestation of power, this hei tiki pendant is an eloquent testament to the refinement and complexity of Maori culture.
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