Mau kakī (reel necklace unit)

UnknownNgā Kākano 1100-1300 Or Te Tipunga 1300-1500

Te Papa

Te Papa

This reel pendant is made from serpentine stone. It has three distinct notched ridges, two outer flanges, and one singular inner ridge. The reel has been bored through for suspension on a cord, either as part of a necklace or as a single pendant. Single stone adornments such as this were sometimes passed down through many generations as heirlooms.

New Zealand reel pendants

Reel pendants, and other necklace forms of personal adornment, were introduced to New Zealand from Eastern Polynesia by the first Polynesian immigrants. In New Zealand, they were typically made from whale ivory and bone, marine mammal bone, moa (large, flightless, and extinct native New Zealand bird: Dinornis gigantea) bone, stone, shell, and human bone. Genealogical associations

There is no specific Māori name for reel pendants, although they are sometimes referred to as iwi tuarä (human vertebrae) because of their likeness to vertebrae segments. They are also occasionally called whatu (stone) porotaka (circular) because of their shape. There is a hypothesis that the notched ridges may have represented different whakapapa (genealogies). The Wairau Bar site

Reel pendants have been found in archaeological sites across New Zealand, with most originating from sites in the North Island. However, the largest single find of 121 pendants - about half of the total number yet discovered - was made at the Wairau Bar site in the upper South Island. The Wairau Bar site is perhaps the single most important archaeological site yet uncovered in New Zealand, providing a rare insight into the lives and culture of New Zealand's earliest Polynesian settlers.

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  • Title: Mau kakī (reel necklace unit)
  • Date Created: Ngā Kākano 1100-1300 Or Te Tipunga 1300-1500
  • Location Created: Hawke's Bay, New Zealand
  • Physical Dimensions: w35 x h65 x d35 mm
  • Type: necklaces
  • Rights: Purchased 1904
  • External Link: Te Papa
  • Medium: Serpentine
  • carver: Unknown
  • Place Part Of: New Zealand
  • Object classification: necklaces; pectorals
  • Material terms: serpentine


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