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Huia Heru. A Maori Comb/hair Accessory Carving


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Something a little different from my normal pendants.


The beautiful Huia. A large wattlebird that was mainly found in a large area in the south eastern part of the North Island. The last official sighting was in 1907, but sightings were reported as late as the 1960s.


The tail feathers of the Huia were highly prized by Maori, and were worn as a sign of high rank. The feathers were so highly regarded that they made elaborately carved containers in the shape of a small waka (canoe) to keep them safe. When hot worn, they were placed in the 'wakahuia', then it was hosted up to the roof for safe keeping.


The Huia can stake claim to the most expensive feather ever. A single Huia feather was sold for $8000 in 2010. Twice as much as any other price paid for a feather.


This piece is a dedication to this wonderful bird. It is designed as a hair accessory as the feathers were always worn, and represents the mana and integrity of the wearer. Maori often wore Heru, a comb which was worn at the back of the head by people of high-born and chiefly status.


The longer outside pieces are a subtle nod to the female Huia's beak; Long and curved, which was vastly different from the male's beak.


The main detail on the top section represents the beautiful plumage of the Huia's feathers. A feature that earned them the name Huia-ariki "chiefly huia".


MaurioraCheers, Billy








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  • 4 weeks later...

kia ora bro,

as always I am very appreciative ( to say the least ) of the balance that you achieve in your mahi , from concept, to design and execution , wicked stuff, but your korero cuz !! te mihimihi o te taonga , aue ! that's the one that raises the hair of the forearms, te ihi, te wehi, te wana when they are present and in balance, creates a resonance that is very, very cool bro, and always a welcome addition to the day :)

Thanks for taking the time to post your mahi billy

ka kite ano


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Hey lachlan,if your ever in Rotorua check out lewis Gardiner and crew at rakai pounamu they do carve your own in the studio , very friendly , and able to give advice on all sorts of fronts regarding carving jade , I spent a week in there and can't rate it high enough :-)

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  • 2 months later...


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