[singlepic id=277 w=250 h=450 float=none]Tanoa, King of Ambau. 1840
Engraving by Rawdon, Wright and Hatch after an 1840 drawing by Alfred Agate, a member of the Wilkes United States Exploring Expedition to the Pacific (1838-1842). Tanoa Visawaqa,the Vunivalu of Bau and Cakobau’s father, is shown wearing the breastplate on display here. Tanoa’s high status is also shown by his shell armlets and white masi turban and waistcloth.
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.