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A Fijian Ivory Neck Ornament, Tabua

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A Fijian Ivory Neck Ornament, Tabua

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A Fijian Ivory Neck Ornament, Tabua

The Island of Fiji

19th Century

A Highly Prized Whale Tooth
'Tabua'

Length 10 cm (4 in)
These highly prized sperm whale teeth were smoked by the Tongans and Fijians who valued them for their rich patina. They had not only an intrinsic but also a spiritual value to the Fijians (Viti) and were symbols of the moral and spiritual binding between a chief and his warrior as well as being given as marriage tokens.

Bibliography:
Yalo i Viti: A Fiji Museum Catalogue by Fergus Clunie pub. 1986

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