[singlepic id=179 w=450 h=250 float=none]Water pot, Saqa
Earthenware water pot formed of two turtles connected at the side. Originally a cord of plaited coir would have been inserted through the hole at the top of the handle to suspend the pot.
Fiji. Collected by A. von Hügel, 1875-77. Z 3543
Turtles were central to many spiritual and social practices, featuring prominently in feasts associated with large gatherings (solevu). Rights to catch and consume turtles were determined by hereditary privileges and links with ancestral spirits. Turtle shell was considered a valuable material but was usually traded with Tonga rather than incorporated into Fijian objects.