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The Sacred Stone of the Maori

Musée du quai Branly, Paris

23 May - 1 Oct 2017

Found only in the south-west of the archipelago, in a protected territory, the green gold of New Zealand, jade (pounamu in the Maori language), bathes in the rivers of the Te Waipounamu (“Water(s) of Greenstone”) region from which it takes its name. A symbol of strength and an object of fascination, this prestigious stone, elevated to the status of treasure, is at the heart of many beliefs, stories and legends of the Maori people. This exhibition showcases the rich collections of jade housed at the museum. Spanning several centuries, it presents sculptures and small objects carved in this precious mineral invested with supposed magical powers. Almost two hundred rare taonga (treasures) – including a rich collection of hei tiki pendants – sit alongside equally precious everyday objects. Find out more about the ‘Sacred Stone’ exhibition from the Musée du quad Branly-Jacques Chriac’s website.

Preview the exhibition below | See Apollo’s Picks of the Week here

Detail of Toki poutangata (a ceremonial adze). © Kura Pounamu marketing images Te Papa

Detail of Toki poutangata (a ceremonial adze). © Kura Pounamu marketing images Te Papa

A Hei Tiki anthropomorphic pendant produced in 2008. © Kura Pounamu marketing images Te Papa

A Hei Tiki anthropomorphic pendant produced in 2008. © Kura Pounamu marketing images Te Papa

Broche. © Kura Pounamu marketing images Te Papa

Broche. © Kura Pounamu marketing images Te Papa

Te Rangi Topeora (around 1860s). Photo: E.S. Richards © Kura Pounamu marketing images Te Papa

Te Rangi Topeora (around 1860s). Photo: E.S. Richards © Kura Pounamu marketing images Te Papa

Detail of pounamo kohatu (rock), variety kawakawa. © Kura Pounamu marketing images Te Papa

Detail of pounamo kohatu (rock), variety kawakawa. © Kura Pounamu marketing images Te Papa

Event website