Hei Tiki

Traditional forms, each with their own story and symbolism in Maori culture.

Hei Tiki

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The Hei tiki represents Hine-te-iwaiwa, a celebrated ancestress associated with fertility and the virtuous qualities of Maori womanhood.

In marriage the family of the husband often gave a hei tiki to the bride to help her conceive. In some Maori tribes, the Hei tiki was buried when their guardian (the wearer) died and would later be retrieved and brought out in times of mourning. It would then be handed to the next generation to be worn. This is how the mana (importance) of the Tiki continued to increase.