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Treasure box (waka huia)

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Chiefs used containers such as this to store personal property and valuable family heirlooms, among them nephrite pendants, ear ornaments, and bone combs. Often referred to as feather boxes, the receptacles also held the black-and-white tail feathers of the huia bird (Heteralocha acutirostris),...

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Collected by Major General Horatio Gordon Robley in 1864-66. Formerly in Dresden Museum (cat. # 13813) in 1902. Formerly Morris Pinto Collection. Purchased from Tambaran Gallery, New York, June 1992. Given to the MFA by William and Bertha Teel in 1994.

Credit Line

Gift of William E. and Bertha L. Teel

Maori peoples, New Zealand, 19th century

Object Place

Maori people, New Zealand


58.42 cm (23 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Wood, pigment, haliotis shell


Africa and Oceania