In the Society and Cook Islands, the ears were pierced for wearing ornaments and the Maori ancestors brought the custom with them. Pendants were made of shell, teeth, bone and stone and the Maori developed a greater variety of ornaments than in any part of Polynesia. The discovery of nephrite helped materially to increase the variety. The ear pendants were drilled with a hole for suspension. Natural objects which required merely the addition of a hole were sharks' teeth. In the South Island, triangular teeth were used; but in the North Island, the double-fanged teeth of the mako shark were favoured. Perforated human teeth have been found that were used either as ear pendants or necklaces.
Greenstone pendants were made in a variety of shapes (Fig. 80) and each form received a specific name. The straight ear drops (a
) were page 286
, and pieces with a bend at the lower end (b
) were named kapeu
. More elaborate forms were shaped like the parrot ring (poria
) through which the foot of a tame parrot was drawn, and others were shaped like a conventional hook (matau
). The parrot-ring pendant (c
) was also made of bone and the larger hook ornaments (d
) were worn on the breast. A curious form was the koropepe
with a small head and a spiral body and tail (e
). Though a similar form occurs in New Guinea,
Fig. 80. Jade ear ornaments.
a, kuru; b, kapeu; c, poria; d, matau (Oldman coll., no. 326); e, koropepe (Auckland Mus.); f, pekapeka, after Skinner (74, fig. 41); g, marakihau, after Skinner (74, fig. 43).
it is probable that the Maori form has been developed locally from a one-piece bone hook of circular form. The shank knob supplied the basis for a head and the continuation of the incurved point into a spiral could have readily occurred to artists who were accustomed to using the spiral motif in other forms of art. Authentic specimens are rare but the pattern has appealed strongly to European makers of greenstone "curios". Another valuable ear ornament in greenstone consists of two symmetrically placed human heads, in profile. Their general name is pekapeka
, but in the page 287
north Auckland area, they are termed kapakapa
). They were worn as ear ornaments and must not be confused with the tiki
breast ornament. An asymmetrical form with one human figure was termed marakihau