Carved figure New Zealand

Carved Māori figure
Carved Māori figure

Custodian: University of Glasgow Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery

Reference: GLAHM E.341

This stylised human figure with real human hair has designs carved into the face simulating the traditional permanent markings (Tā moko) made by Māori on the face and body. The figure's eyes are made of inlaid haliotis (Abalone) shell.

Originally the figure was probably placed at the base of an interior house post as a representative of ancestors. It is thought to be one of only a few surviving examples of the type of figure.

An old handwritten label attached to this item links it with the Andersonian Collection which was donated to The Hunterian Museum in 1888.

Maker: not known

Materials: carved wood with human hair and inlaid haliotis (Abalone) shell

Dimensions: height 394mm