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Necklace tuinga kahoa

Necklace tuinga kahoa

Place: Tonga
Category: Jewellery & adornment

snail shell, bird bones, plant fibre, Tonga, l. 94 cm, Inv. Oz 196

Humphrey No. 77: ‘A Necklace composed of 2 Rows of the pinion bones of Fowls between each couple of which is a small brown Shell, from the Friendly Isles.’

The necklace consists of pairs of brown snail-shells and bird bones (either single or paired) arranged alternately on a string. The bird bones are between 3.5 and 5.5 cm long. Cook (in Beaglehole 1961, II: 272) listed necklaces along with amulets and bracelets as being ornaments worn by the Tongans. They were made ‘of Bone Shells and Beads of Mother of pearl, Tortoise Shell &ca these are worn by both sex ...’

Söderström (1939: 45) stated that the seeds of the Abrus precatorius were those used in manufacturing necklaces. Kaeppler (1971: 217) named pearl shell, bird bones, various kinds of shells and also different beads. Inken Köhler, Ulrike Rehr, Gundolf Krüger


Beaglehole, John Cawte, The Journals of Captain James Cook on his Voyages of Discovery. The Voyage of the Resolution and Adventure 1772-1775, Hakluyt Society, Extra Series, 35, vol. 2, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1955-1961 II.

Kaeppler, Adrienne L, ‘Eighteenth century Tonga: new interpretations of Tongan society and material culture at the time of Captain Cook’, Man, 1971, vol. 6, no. 2, pp. 204-220, plates 1-6.

Söderström, Jan, A. Sparrman’s Ethnographical Collection from James Cook’s 2nd Expedition (1772-75), New Series, Publication no. 6, The Ethnographical Museum of Sweden, Stockholm, 1939.

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