This stunning Tangiwai Pounamu Hei Tiki features irridescent hues of olive greens. It has paua shell inlaid eyes and is bound with muka (tan) adjustable wax cord. It measures 88 x 50 x 9 mm and was hand carved and polished by Alex Sands.
Hei tiki have become iconic emblems of both the Māori people and New Zealand. Hei tiki are highly prized taonga which were treasured and handed down from one generation to another.
The form represents Tiki, the mythical first human and are symbolic of our Tupuna (ancestors) that guide us forward, growing in mana (prestige) with each passing. They were also often given as a protection to pregnant women, but worn by both men and women as symbols of the significance of kinship.
Tangiwai is the most ancient form of pounamu. It is composed of Bowenite, which is different in composition to the more common nephrite. Most Tangiwai is sourced from two isolated areas at Piopiotahi (Milford Sound).