4.5 in WIDE
(11.43 cm WIDE)
Fiji Islands | South Pacific Ocean
Museum Purchase, Dr. John Rabe D.D.S. Collection

Necklaces, of whale's teeth. Teeth - whittled "Strung on heavy cord." (gray notebook) "Samoa probably or Tonga - Kenneth Emory, 1963." (gray notebook) "The most valuable of all necklaces ('ula) were those made of whale ivory ('lei) and called 'ula lei. The material was obtained from whale's teeth which were ground down into long curved pointed pendants. They are bored through transversely in such a way that when strung on a cord, the concave sides are all on the same surface. The necklace is hung around the neck by the cord. The convex surfaces of the pendants rest against the breast and the points project outwards from the body. The necklace is worn by high chiefs and the village maid when in full dress regalia. An 'ula lei necklace is really essential to complete the costume on dress occasions. [See plate LIV D2 Hiroa, 1930]" (gray notebook) "H 4" to 5". Storage - Polynesia. 16" length x 4.5" width and 14" length x 4.5" width" (warehouse card) "Valued at $150.00 ea" (warehouse card) "Presumably collected by Dr. Rabe at Fiji. They were used on Fiji, but probably made by Tongan craftsmen for Fijian chiefs. Called `waseisei' in Fiji. Also used at Samoa and Tonga." (Roger Rose, 4/95)

Used: Personal adornment ~ chief | Fiji | Samoa | Tonga

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