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Priest’s dish, Darileba
Oil dish carved in the shape of a leba (Syzygium neurocalyx) fruit with longitudinal ridges at the back and a flower-like protuberance at the tip. The underside is serrated, a feature found on many sacred objects.
Wainimala, Viti Levu, Fiji. Collected by A. von Hügel, 1875-77. Z 3734
In pre-Christian times, a large variety of wooden vessels were used by priests to hold yaqona or scented coconut oil (waiwai). Kept in the spirit house (burekalou), the use and care of these dishes followed complex ritual procedures. When not in use, they would have been suspended inside the temple.