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Ornament ki’i teunga

Ornament ki’i teunga

Place: Tonga
Category: Jewellery & adornment

bone, Tonga, l. 3 cm, w. 4 cm, Inv. Oz 164

Humphrey No. 92: ‘A flat square bone pendant; from ditto [Friendly Isles].’

A rectangular bone plate. The longer sides each have four, and the shorter sides three half-round notches respectively. One side has perforations at the corners, probably for a cord to be pulled through (Kaeppler 1978a: 207-211).

Many small carvings of animal bone or teeth and other materials were collected on Cook’s voyages. They were worn as neck and ear ornaments, often with other elements, attached to belts and bracelets (Kaeppler 1978a: 207-11).

The following observation is from Cook: ‘Their Ornaments are Amulets, Necklaces and Bracelets, of Bone Shells and Beads of Mother of pearl, Tortoise Shell etc. these are worn by both sex ... but ear ornaments are not commonly worn, they all have their ear’s pierced’ (in: Beaglehole 1961, II: 272). 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, ‘Artificial Curiosities’ Being An Exposition of Native Manufactures Collected on the Three Pacific Voyages of Captain James Cook RN [Exhibition catalogue], Bishop Museum Press, Honolulu, 1978a.

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