[singlepic id=161 w=450 h=250 float=none]Presentation whale tooth, Tabua
Tabua are regarded as the most important of all Fijian valuables. The unusual curve of this tooth is reminiscent of a shark.
Fiji. Collected by A. von Hügel, 1875-77. Z 3023
Materials originating from the sea figure prominently as markers of status as well as in ceremonial exchanges. The teeth of the sperm whale (Physeter catodon or macrocephalus) continue to be of particular value. Fish and fishing remain very important in the diet and culture of Fijians, especially in coastal regions.