[singlepic id=280 w=450 h=250 float=none]Necklace, Waseisei
Split and carved whale teeth, strung on 3-ply plaited coir cords. The supply of whale ivory greatly increased following the influx of European traders in the early 19th century. Hundreds of these necklaces were produced from the 1820s. During conflicts between powerful chiefly confederacies they were used by chiefs to forge alliances, mark successions and reward leading warriors.
Fiji. Collected by A. Maudslay, 1875-80. Z 2737
Alliances and Warfare
Prestigious objects, such as ornaments made from whale teeth, were used to encourage alliances between potential allies in shifting relationships between competing chiefly confederacies in the mid-19th century. Weapons recovered from battles highlight the struggle between the Cakobau government and the highlanders of Viti Levu.