Oceania, New Zealand, Maori, ca. late 19th to early 20th century CE. A superb jade pendant /ear ornament, of marvelous translucent apple green hues, expertly carved into an extended hook-like shape and remarkably smooth to the touch, suspended from a 14 karat gold loop. The Maori have known jade or pounamu for approximately 700 years. The stone is personified by Poutini and Waitaiki whose stories trace the major stone quarries in North Island down to the West Coast of the South Island and the Arahura River. Pounamu was so important to the Maori that the South Island - Te Waipounamu (meaning the waters of pounamu) or Te Wahi Pounmanu (the place of pounamu) - was actually named for it. What's more, the regions where this jade is found are protected by an Act of Parliament and carefully overseen by Ngai Tahu, the tribe most associated with its history and trade. Size: 5" L x .625" W (12.7 cm x 1.6 cm)
Provenance: ex-collection of Nick Poolos, founder of Adeon Gallery, Chicago, Illinois, USA, before 1970
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