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Lei niho palaoa

human history
  • Other Name

    lei niho paloa (Hawaiian)

    Whale tooth and hair necklace (English)

  • Description

    Lei niho palaoa. Whale tooth and hair necklace. This is an unfinished neck lei niho palaoa. It features a hook-shaped pendant made from palaoa (sperm-whale tooth). This piece is suspended from a series of intricately braided human hair. A finished version would be worn by Ali'i (High chiefs). They are of cosmological and visual significance as they portrayed the wearers divine right and genealogical connections to Hawaiian deity and their ancestors.

    The braided hair linked the wearer to their ancestors and the ivory tongue shaped hook visually materialized cosmological connection.

  • Place
  • Accession Date
  • Other Id

    14536 (ethnology)

    E8 (Edge-Partington)

  • Department
Lei niho palaoa, 14536, E8, Photographed by Denise Baynham,… … Read more

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