[singlepic id=205 w=250 h=450 float=none]Shell pendant, Sovui
Spondylus shell pendants were worn by chiefs and priests at the base of the throat. The colour red was associated with chiefs and with Borutu, the spirit world.
Viti Levu, Fiji. Collected by Sir A. Gordon, 1875-80. Z 2708 B
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.