Maori Tiki pendant hand carved from bone with paua shell
One of the most popular and most recognizable Maori symbols. Tiki is emblematic for the whole Polynesian hemisphere, an emblem of Polynesian cultures from Hawaii to New Zealand. According to legends tiki was the first man on earth who originated from the stars. The first mortal person who created the first woman after his image.
The exact meaning of the tiki symbol is disputed. There are several opinions but the most accepted are that tiki stands for fertility, the frequently occurring hands placed on the loins is a direct reference to fertility. Tiki is a good luck charm meant to keep evil spirits away. Other theories state that tiki represents the human embryo, or the Maori god Tiki who was considered responsible for the creation of life.