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Remember those little plastic hei tikis we had as kids, made (probably in China) of dark green plastic? The Hei tiki was originally made of pounamu and was an ornamental pendant of New Zealand Māori. The word Hei, referring to the fact that it was worn around their neck. Tiki is a carved form. The theory of the origin of the Hei-Tiki suggests a connection with Tiki, the first man in Māori legend. It is the embryonic form of the first born. The opening in the head (fontanelle) is where wisdom is passed through. Nowadays, it is a talisman and is said to bring good luck and fertility. I choose to enlarge it in my art to give it the importance it deserves. Before colonial times, it took up to 500 hours to carve a single Tiki and it was a very revered possession passed through generations. It is often the only physical link that Māori have to their ancestors and so it is considered a taonga (treasure).