Rare Fijian tabua with fiber necklace. Tabuas are ornamental necklaces fashioned from sperm whale teeth which were acquired by trade with whalemen. They were worn by high ranking natives. Tooth 6 3/4 in. long. 19th C. An old paper label afixed to one side reads "BULL WHALE'S TOOTH".
A tabua (pronounced tam-bua) is a highly prized possession in Fiji and would be used in native ceremonies. Tabuas are not bought and sold, but when one is presented to an individual it is a symbol of great respect.