Spirit Wrestler Gallery (Vancouver, Canada)

Heru • Comb


  • Medium: silver
  • Size: 6 × 1 inches (excl. base)
  • Reference Code: K11001

Heru traditionally were worn only by men of high rank and were a symbol of mana (status and prestige). However, women nowadays wear this form of body adornment ornament more than men, due to the fact that men generally do not wear their hair long and do not have the ‘top knot’ in which to place the comb.

The design of this heru is based in the traditional carved forms and style of my iwi (tribe). This is the second heru that I have made, the first being for my niece on her wedding.

Alex Nathan

Alex Nathan


Te Roroa, Ngāti Whātua, Ngā Puhi

(1946- )

Alex worked in traditional materials such as bone, shell, stone and wood until the late 1980s when his brother, Manos, introduced him to Michael Kabotie, the Hopi silversmith. Now Alex works exclusively with silver as his primary material and uses traditional materials as highlights. Adapting and exploring traditional Māori designs within the silver medium, he incorporates traditional motifs in his uniquely constructed and carved silver pieces.