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Enquiry from Online Galleries regarding "Fijian ‘Tabua’ a Chief’s Ceremonial Breast Pendant"
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Look at what I found on the Online Galleries website!
With old worn suspension holes for sinnet cord
Early 19th Century
Size: 16cm wide – 6¼ ins wide
See Finch & Co catalogue no. 4, item no. 133, and catalogue no. 9, items 9 and 10 for other examples
Baron Anatole Von Hügel recorded in his Fiji Journal on 4th December 1875 (page 224) ‘.... A good red tabua (whale tooth) came in from Nadi today. It was some time before the owner, an old man, let out what he had come about. After a long rambling conversation he produced from the folds of his Isulu the Tabua, most carefully wrapped in Masi (bark cloth). He did not approve of my hanging it up on the wall with my other treasures and evidently wishes to keep dark his having parted with it. No doubt it has a history, but natives, especially the older ones, do not let out secrets easily; so what that history may be I have not much chance of finding out’.