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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 70

Other Ornaments and Objects

Other Ornaments and Objects.

The mako, the beautiful tooth of the tiger-shark, is much priced as a keepsake, and is handed down from generation to generation; but its inferiority to a jewel of kahurangi or pounamu of the first water is recognised in the ode,— page 33

That is worthless—
That is the bono of a fish;
But were it the little pounamu,
That ancient source of evil
The fame of which reaches
Beyond the limits of the sky—eh!

In the list of ornaments given by White the ward "mako" occurs, referring evidently to a greenstone imitation of the shark's tooth. Rings are mentioned by some writers. The Maoris keep tame parrots with rings round their feet. In the Christchurch Museum is a prettily-carved parrot-ring of greenstone.

In addition to the hei-tiki, fuller reference to which is made hereafter, and those above mentioned, the Maoris had a great variety of greenstone ornaments. Of these, only a few can be described here, thus: (L) Lobe-shaped ornaments, suspended from the neck when very large, and from the ear when smaller. Some of these are referred to in the description of colours. (2.) Small objects with a slight resemblance to the human form, slighter, and flatter, and more formal in shape than the hei-tiki, though perhaps also so called; others without resemblance to human shape. There is a peculiar fish-shaped hei-tiki in the Christchurch Museum. (3.) Ear-pendant, called kapeu or kapehu, curved at the lower end; and numerous other forms of ear-pendant. Fish-hook points, also used as pendants. Kapeu whakapapa was a genealogical staff with the generations notched upon it. They are more commonly made of wood. (4.) Mat-pins of various sizes and shapes.