Story: New Zealand culture overseas

James Cook's tiki

James Cook's tiki

This tiki, made of pounamu (greenstone) with a flax tie and bone toggle, belonged to British navigator James Cook. It is thought to have been given to him during his first voyage to New Zealand in 1769–70. The tiki was later gifted by Cook to King George III and became part of the Royal Collection. It is on display in the British Museum, which has the largest collection of Māori material culture outside New Zealand. Items were acquired through purchase and donations from explorers, military and administration personnel and missionaries, as well as collectors of ethnographic objects. A long-term joint British and New Zealand research project to catalogue the holdings led to the major exhibition Maori: Art and Culture at the museum in 1998.

Using this item

Royal Collection Trust
Reference: XQG 2004 GIII 485

© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2014

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How to cite this page:

Nancy Swarbrick, 'New Zealand culture overseas - Art, craft and design', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 16 July 2024)

Story by Nancy Swarbrick, published 22 Oct 2014