The name translates as hei (suspend, around the neck) and tiki (man). According to Te Papa, New Zealand’s national museum, the origin of the hei tiki pendant is obscure. One theory is that the hei-tiki represents Hine-te-iwaiwa, a celebrated ancestress associated with fertility and the virtuous qualities of Maori womanhood. In marriage the family of the husband often gave a hei-tiki to the women if she was having trouble conceiving. Another theory is that the hei-tiki is connected with Tiki, the first man in Maori legend. In some Maori tribes, hei-tiki were buried when their guardian (the person wearing the hei-tiki) died, and would later be retrieved and placed somewhere special to be brought out in times of mourning. It would then be handed to the next generation to be worn. This is how the mana (importance) of the tiki increased and increases.