[singlepic id=397 w=250 h=450 float=none]Kula bird (Pigys solitarius)
In the 18th century, there was a great demand in Tonga for the red feathers of the Fijian kula bird. Taken to Samoa, they adorned finely woven kilts (‘ie tonga) that were prized by Tongan and Fijian chiefs.
Rewa River, Viti Levu, Fiji. Collected by A. von Hügel, 22 July 1875. Cambridge University Museum of Zoology. 18/Psi/53/a/l
Exchange within Western Polynesia
There is a long history of exchange within Western Polynesia, motivated and maintained by complex social relations that developed between groups in Fiji, Tonga and Samoa. Pacific Islander visitors to Fiji brought distinctive objects, materials, skills, practices and beliefs.