The fibres from the husk of the coconut undergo a complex process of transformation before being dyed, plaited and bundled into rolls of varying sizes. Traditionally, the cords were used to bind the internal architecture of Fijian houses, an art form called lalawa. A modern interpretation of lalawa can be seen adorning the pillars of this gallery.
Fiji. Collected by A. von Hügel, 1875-77. Z 2946
This installation evokes the range of objects exchanged at solevu. Each exchange involves a different combination of objects, the guests presenting valuables from their own specialised area of production. Central to a solevu are events that cannot be represented here, such as feasts (magiti) and dances (meke) contributing to the celebratory atmosphere.