Lei Niho Palaoa
A large Hawaiian hook-shaped sperm whale tooth necklace on braided human hair - Lei Niho Palaoa. Worn exclusively by persons of royal and high rank of both genders.
Worn in battle and in ceremonies they often appear in early European portraits of Hawaiian nobility.
?The necklace is made of finely braided human hair tied with fiber and attached to cords. Captain James Cook observed that islanders often exchanged locks of hair which was regarded as a sacred substance. The head was considered the most supernaturally powerful part of the ody so the coils of hair enhanced the powers of the noble wearer.
Joost and Truus Daalder, Adelaide, Australia
"Ethnic jewellery and adornment" by Truus Daalderfig 266 (page 136)
"Arts and crafts of Hawaii : XII: Ornaments", Te Rangi Hiroa, 1964, Bishop Museum
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