Rangi Kipa

Hei tiki

Hei tiki by Rangi Kipa

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This whalebone hei tiki (neck piece) represents the distinct tiki figurative form found in Māori personal body adornment practices. It speaks of the elegance and mastery of hei tiki form fashioned out of both pounamu (greenstone) and bone. The hei tiki is understood as a symbol of fertility and whakapapa (lineage). Contemporary artist and maker Rangi Kipa has revived and explored a vast range of Māori personal body adornment practices and the hei tiki form is a central piece in his work. He makes modern/contemporary pieces using synthetic materials such as corian, alongside more traditional materials such as pounamu, shell, teeth and bone. This piece is a rare example of one that has been fashioned out of the tooth of a Sperm whale.

Hei tiki
Production date
Sperm whale tooth, paua shell, waxed nylon thread
115 x 63 x 30 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 2017
Accession no
Copying restrictions apply
New Zealand Art
Display status
Not on display

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