3575 Owl Necklace belonging to Julia Pearce

Physical description:
Necklace of wood and grey metal beads strung on black cord, together with a grey metal owl pendant. The owl has a small face on his breast, and a tiny iridescent peacock-feather-coloured cabochon at the top of his wing, probably paua shell.
Museum classification:
Modern Witchcraft
540mm long, owl 20 x 12 x 5

Part of a collection of gemstone jewellery that belonged to Julia Pearce. She also had several books on the magical and healing properties of crystals and gemstones, now in the museum library.

The owl may be a Ruru - an owl that has great spiritual significance to the Maori people. Ancestral guardian spirits are believed to take the shape of Rurus. This may be the significance of the small face on the bird's breast - the face may represent the Hine-ruru - the 'owl-woman' spirit.

According to Maori mythology, paua shell was created by Tangaroa, the God of the Sea.

Metal, wood, shell, fabric