pendant, ivory, tabua
Date Made/Found: before 1944
Material and Medium: sperm whale tooth
Dimensions: Overall: 37 x 30 x 46mm (1 7/16 x 1 3/16 x 1 13/16in.)
Place Object Found:
Sperm whale tooth (tabua) carved in the form of a cowrie shell and its shape is thought to represent female genitalia. It would have been an important ceremonial object presented to a chief or other important person reflecting a token of goodwill, loyalty and reverence. Ceremonies would be related to birth, marriage, death and for the departure or return from a long journey.
It was possibly made by Tongan craftsmen who moved to Fiji.
Weston Park Museum