In Fiji, rank and prestige are of great importance, and this is reflected in the social restrictions associated with many artefacts. Fine ornaments such as this one, and particular forms of bark cloth, bowls and clubs are reserved for use by those of the chiefly status. In Fijian language this ornament is known as Wasekaseka.They are cut from Sperm Whale teeth and subsequently highly polished, Like others necklaces made of whales' teeth, they were very highly prized and were presented to chiefs in return for support in a particular enterprise. Ornaments of this type were thought to be made possible by the introduction of steel tools to Tongan and Samoan craftsmen who, during the 1800s, were plentifully supplied with teeth by European traders. In the late 1700s, Tongan and Samoan craftsman began to reside in Fiji.
Necklace made of split and polished Sperm Whale teeth, bound with fibre, probably coconut fibre.
Type of item
520 mm (Length), 265 mm (Width), 75 mm (Height)
330 mm (Length), 500 mm (Width), 40 mm (Height)
Measurement From Conservation. Measuring Method: Maximum dimensions