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Drinking bowl

Drinking bowl

Place: Tahiti & Society Islands
Category: Tools

coconut, Tahiti and the Society Islands, h. 10.3 cm, Inv. Oz 393

Humphrey No. 202: ‘a Cup made of white Cocoa Nut, from the Society Isles.’ (= Oz 393)

Bowl Oz 393 (H 10.3 cm), somewhat higher compared to specimen Oz 392, has a much smaller opening (5.7 cm in diameter). Like Oz 392, it has also been made from a young, light-brown coconut. The imprint of a smallish rectangular label can be discerned on the outside.

Bowls such as these were used for drinking. Apart from the main beverages, coconut milk and water (cf. Forster 1783: 351), they were also used for the ceremonial ‘ava drink which was reserved exclusively for the members of the nobility, ari’i. Detailed descriptions concerning the preparation of ‘ava and the effect of the pepper bush ‘ava (Piper methysticum) are to be found in Cook (in Beaglehole 1955, I: 236) and Forster (1989, 1: 327). Gundolf Krüger


Beaglehole, John Cawte, The Journals of Captain James Cook on his Voyages of Discovery. The Voyage of the Endeavour 1768-1771, Hakluyt Society, Extra Series, 34, vol. 1, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1955-1968 I.

Forster, Georg, Bemerkungen über Gegenstände der physischen Erdbeschreibung, Naturgeschichte und sittlichen Philosophie auf seiner Reise um die Welt gesammlet. Uebersetzt und mit Anmerkungen vermehrt von dessen Sohn und Reisegefahrten Georg Forster, Berlin, 1783.

Forster, Georg, Reise um die Welt, 2 Teile, in Georg Steiner (ed.), Georg Forsters Werke (2 und 32 und 3), Sämtliche Schriften, Tagebücher, Briefe, herausgegeben von der Akademie der Wissenschaften der DDR, Akademie-Verlag, Berlin, [1777] 1989.

Related artefacts

Drinking bowl, Inv. Oz 392
Drinking bowl, Inv. Oz 395


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