"It is impossible to come into contact with native American spirituality and not be struck with the immensity of the gratitude expressed."
Anne Wilson Schaef
Our Lei Niho Palaoa is one of the most sought after of Hawaiian wearable Talismans.
Lei Niho Palaoa were the prized symnbols of chiefly rank. They were carved from Sperm Whale teeth and could be worn only by high chiefs who, because of their high position, could lay claim to Sperm Whales cast ashore by the sea.
Hawaiians believed that their entire material and social universe had evolved, over hundreds of generations, from a common creative force. In the beginning of time, the darkness gave birth, and from this dark genesis came forth, era by era, the light, life in the sea, life on the land, the gods and finally humans. Gods were the offspring of natural forces; humans were the offspring of gods. Those humans descended most directly from the gods were aristocrats (the ali'i); those descended indirectly were commoners and outcasts.
Such possessions of the Ali'i were considered sacred. Lei Niho Palaoa (Lei means 'necklace,' and Niho Palaoa means 'Sperm Whale.") were worn on ceremonial occasions by both royal men and women, and in battle by men. (The necklace (lei) consisted of loops of 8-strand square braids of human hair.) Lei Niho Palaoa were seen as embodying part of the essence and power (mana) of a man: when a leader was killed in battle, it was important for his enemies to take possession of his Lei Niho Palaoa as well as his body in order to vanquish his spirit completely.
Our Lei Niho Palaoa is real and authentic - carved in three dimensions from either Sperm Whale Ivory registered with the U. S. Department of Commerce or legal Fossil Walrus Ivory. It is fully carved 1 1/2 inches high, 3/8 inch wide and 1 1/4 inch from front to back. Comes with leather neck thong.
Of course, hand carved in our studio.