George French Angas (Artist), George French Angas (Lithographer)

Native Ornaments, &c.

Native Ornaments, &c. by George French Angas, George French Angas

Artwork Detail

Angas's description:



1. An ornament worn in the ear, formed out of poonamu or green jade; a stone which is very highly valued by the natives, and brought from the Southern Island.

2. A mako or tooth, wrought from pellucid jade, in imitation of the mako taniwa, or tooth of the tiger-shark; this a decoration but rarely to be met with, and is much prized.

3. A small tiki or heir-loom, also formed of green jade, and worn round the neck by both sexes; the tiki generally from father to son, and when thus passed from one generation to another is regarded with an almost sacred veneration: in form the tiki varies but little; its usual shape is that of a grotesque image of the human figure, but instances occur where they are made to resemble the supposed taniwa or river-god.

This and the preceding figure were drawn from offerings on a wahi tapu, consecrated by the parents to a deceased child, as being the most precious articles they possessed; although exposed amidst the ruins of a deserted Pah, so strict is the law of tapu, that no one dare touch these valuable relics.

4. A larger tiki: the eyes are filled up with a red composition resembling sealing-wax: this figure is of the usual size of the tiki.

5 and 6. Ear-rings formed of green jade or poonamu.

7. The Mako taniwa, or tooth of the tiger-shark, worn in the ear as a mark of rank: the fangs are covered with a similar red preparation to the eyes of the tiki.

8. A tail feather of the huia- (Neomorpha Gouldii), worn in the hair by chiefs, on all important occasions; this bird is abundant about Taupo, but so shy, that the natives have great difficulty in procuring it.

9. A shell (nat. size) found in Cook's Straits, and worn suspended in the ear by the natives.

10 and 11. Wooden combs, used for confining the long hair of the warriors, when knotted up before battle.

12. A child at Te Rapa, Taupo Lake.

13. The fan-tailed fly-catcher (Rhipidura flabellifera) worn suspended in the ear in many parts of the interior.

14. The head of the huia, also worn in the ear, as is the entire skin of the body with the wings and tail removed.

15 and 16. Patterns of the angular designs forming the border of the Kaitaka or finest variety of flax garment: these rich and elaborately embroidered borders are entirely worked by the women with a bone needle, and frequently occupy several years in completion.

17. Tattooing instruments; formed of sharp pieces of bone fastened into wooden handles; these are driven into the flesh with a small mallet along the desired lines, and charcoal is then rubbed into the wounds, which, when healed, become of a permanent blue colour."

Native Ornaments, &c.
George French Angas, George French Angas
Production date
circa 1847
hand coloured lithograph
435 x 295 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 2009
Accession no
No known copyright restrictions
New Zealand Art
Display status
Not on display

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