[singlepic id=206 w=250 h=450 float=none]Necklace
This exceptional necklace is composed of fish pendants and large beads made of sperm whale ivory, and small coconut shell beads strung on hibiscus fibre. Its unusual composition suggests influences from Tonga and/or Micronesia.
Fiji. Collected by Sir A. Gordon, c. 1876. Z 2770
Increased access to sperm whale ivory in the early 19th century resulted in a proliferation of high-status ornaments associated with chiefs. They demonstrate the power of chiefs to obtain highly valued materials and control the production of specialist craftsmen.