[singlepic id=276 w=250 h=450 float=none]Breastplate, Civavonovono
Plates of whale ivory and a black-lipped pearl shell expertly bound together so that the binding is concealed from the front. The technology of its construction points to the skills developed by 19th-centuryTongan and Samoan canoe-builders working in the service of Fijian chiefs. It belonged to Tanoa Visawaqa and probably passed down to his son Cakobau before being given to the first Governor of Fiji.
Fiji. Presented to Sir A. Gordon, 1875-80. Z 2730
Highly valued objects were presented by leading Fijian chiefs to British governors. Many of the outstanding objects on display in this case were presented to Governor Gordon, Lady Gordon and officials in the colonial government. These gifts mediated relationships and consolidated alliances. They also demonstrated the power and authority of the chiefs.