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Ula-lei necklace by Niki Hastings-McFall

Niki Hastings-McFall (b.1959) is a New Zealand born jewellery artist of Samoan and Pakeha heritage. A prominent figure in the local and international contemporary Pacific art scene, Hastings-McFall is known for the conceptual significance of her works, often exploring key issues related to cultural identity, the impact of globalisation on traditional island life and the inter-relationships and dichotomies between Western and Pacific culture.

In this particular work, 'Segasegaa Mau'u' (also …


Object No.


Object Statement

Ula-lei necklace, 'Segasegaa Mau'u' (Urban Lei series - Weedeater Variants), acrylic, designed and made by Niki Hastings-McFall, Auckland, New Zealand, 2015

Physical Description

An ula-lei necklace made from looped strips of translucent, red acrylic.



90 mm


90 mm



This ula-lei was made by Niki Hastings-McFall in Auckland, New Zealand, 2015 using acrylic (weedeater nylon).

The title of this particular work refers to the Samoan Sega (pronounced 'say-ng-uh') bird or parrot finch. This bird is endemic to Samoa and is under threat by forest degradation and invasive species. Hastings-McFall says, 'This small bird was greatly prized for its beautiful red plumage as the colour red is sacred throughout Polynesia. The feathers were used to adorn chiefly objects and accorded much status in their own right. The Sega bird is mentioned in oral histories as one of the gifts sent down from Lagi (the heavens) at the time of the first fale (house) building. The Sega bird is often cited in legends and sayings and the red feathers confer great mana upon the wearer, recipient or wearer.' The vibrant red hue in this work references these ancient Polynesian traditions and the symbolism imbued within the Pacific peoples' cultural landscape. The Polynesian's spiritual connections to the land and his 'Kaitiake' (caretaker) approach to his relationship with the land are contrasted with the colonial European model of ownership and control.



Niki Hastings-McFall (b. New Zealand 1959) studied visual arts and jewellery at Auckland University and the Manukau Institute of Technology. Of mixed Pakeha-Samoan heritage, Hastings-McFall is considered a significant artist in the contemporary local and international Pacific art scene. She has exhibited her works both in New Zealand and overseas (including a number of defining exhibitions exploring Pacific culture, like 'Bottled Ocean' (New Zealand), 'Latitudes' (France), 'Paradise Now' (USA) and 'Pasifika Styles' (UK)) and is represented in several international collections, including the British Museum, Chartwell Trust, Museum of Volkekund Germany, Te Papa Tongarewa New Zealand and GOMA Brisbane.


Credit Line

Purchased with funds from the Yasuko Myer Bequest, 2015

Acquisition Date

26 November 2015

Cite this Object


Ula-lei necklace by Niki Hastings-McFall 2021, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 17 October 2021, <>


{{cite web |url= |title=Ula-lei necklace by Niki Hastings-McFall |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=17 October 2021 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}


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