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Jade Around the World

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George Harlow

Jade is one of the most beautiful rocks I’ve ever seen. And it’s rare! Jade is only found in certain places on Earth. It’s amazing to see how many different cultures have used jade.

New Zealand

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scrapbook page with pictures jade tiki pendants, a chopper and a meer
Maori hei-tiki carved pendants

tiki pendants

These are called "hei-tiki," which means "human pendant." The Maori wore them around their necks. The Maori lived on the island of New Zealand, so they were isolated from other people. This allowed them to develop their own unique style. They were and still are known for hei-tiki.

elaborately carved jade chopper with wooden handle

chopper

When the Maori people discovered the island of New Zealand in 1000 A.D., they also discovered a new stone: jade! The Maori used jade for tools, weapons, and ornaments. They even decorated some of their jade tools with elaborate designs, like this beautiful chopper made with jade and wood.

dark green jade meer, or club, made by Maori

meer

Does this look familiar, like a bat or a club? This is called a "meer." It was originally used by the Maori people as a war club and weapon. Later, it became a symbol of duty, power, and authority.

Image Credits:

All photos: courtesy of AMNH