Putahaakai (Plug earrings)
Putahaakai is the name of the tribal earrings worn by men on the Marquesas Islands.
Ear-piercing was a signal event in the life of every Marquesan child. The ear-piercing ceremony, known as tui i te puaika or oka, was performed when a child was 6 to 10 years old. Because it involved the spilling of human blood, it was performed in a sacred place (paepae) near the village. According to one historical source, for the children of the most powerful chiefs, the ceremony was accompanied by the offering of human sacrifice. The actual piercing of the ears was performed by tuhuka (skilled master) who had a specialized ear-piercing implement that was shared and passed down within the family. They were usually carved from the bones of the ancestors; some were made from bird bone and turtle shells.
This eye-catching pair of putahaakai were carved out of the white seashell. You can have them custom-made. For more details, contact us at email@example.com