Hei-tiki

Hei-tiki is the pendant worn by the Maori people. It is worn by women, but there are some men wearing this pendant too. It is one of tāonga or treasured possessions. Hei-tiki is usually made from nephrite. In Maori language this type of stone is called pounamu. In English spoken in New Zeland it is known as greenstone. There are also hei-tiki pendants made from ivory, whale bone or teeth and cow bone.

Hei-tiki
Hei-tiki

Some people believe that this pendant is a fertility symbol with the shape of an embryo. There are also those who believe that hei-tiki has magical powers. But according to experts the shape probably has much more practical reason. Hei-tiki were often made from traditional adze blades as highly valued possession.