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Yaqona bowl, Darivonu
Shallow wooden bowl for yaqona in the shape of a turtle. The old blue glass bead inlaid in one of the eyes of the turtle suggests that this was a high-status object.
Fiji. Collected by A. Maudslay, 1875-77. Z 3456
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.