Silhouette - Maori Woman
Maori women were (and still are) considered the life givers and preservers of their Iwi (tribe). Puhi is a term used for a female maiden or daughter from an Ariki line (high ranking chiefly person) who was considered a very special woman and protected at all costs. Because of her puhi status, she was highly tapu (sacred) and usually a betrothed girl. This meant in times of tribal conflict, she was sometimes married to a high ranking chief of another tribe in order to forge alliances or establish continued peace.
The Pattern used in the head-band is called Mangotipi, a Mataatua and Tuhoe tribal pattern, which represents the White Pointer Shark. It symbolises strength and power.