Lei niho palaoa

Lei niho palaoa

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Sperm whale’s teeth (Physeter macrocepahalus), hair


C.D.A.1038, Legato Cap.E.A. D'Albertis, 1932


Second half of 19th century

Head ornament, wings: the stylized form symbolizes the chin, mouth and tongue, centers of vitality and spiritual strength, mana. The pendant in the eighteenth century specimens is small, while in the nineteenth century these increase probably thanks to the greater availability of ivory due to the presence of cetacean hunters.