Maori tiki, or more accurately hei tiki traditionally have been made of whale bone or from the greenstone (pounamu) of Aotearoa-New Zealand. However, modern times have also brought about the use of cow bone in carving Maori designs. Traditional Maori carvings generally represent the human form as highly stylized art. The gods were the only ones who could make the perfect form and the Maori felt it insulting to the gods to carve exact likenesses.
The tilting of the head has been studied by historians and many believe that such a reason was more because of function rather than aesthetics. In shaping the tiki, the Maori used rectangular adze blades in cutting the raw shape into the hard semi-precious greenstone in reducing the time and effort in making tiki. Most tiki are one sided but some of the older ones are two-sided. The eyes of the tiki also differ with each artist.
Our tiki have paua shell eyes. They have been shaped and polished by modern equipment and are finished by hand.
Black waxed cord may be tied to fit individual length preference.