Fiji's Treasured Culture: Highlighting the collections of Museum Victoria

SEARCH RESULTS: TOPIC: Wealth and Status / OBJECT: Ornament

Tabua Whale tooth ornament Photograph of a man holding a Tabua Photograph of a Fijian Woman Chief with Tabua and Barkcloth

Tabua wa voivoi

Sperm Whale tooth suspended from a chain of looped pandanus palm leaves. Teeth from the upper jaw of a Sperm Whale were regarded with reverence, perhaps the most important of the Fijian valuables. Acceptance of a tooth presented to a chief bound him to the request made with the tooth, such as a desired course of action. They were also made as presentations in marriage and as tokens of personal esteem. An original presentation tabua would have been suspended from looped sinnet fibre, magimagi.
Reg. Number: X12225
Acquistion Details: Donation from Estate of George McArthur
Dimensions: L.235mm W.220mm H.40mm
MV Collection object
Whale tooth ornament
© Museum Victoria Australia