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Ornament ki’i teunga

Ornament ki’i teunga

Place: Tonga
Category: Jewellery & adornment

bone, Tonga, l. 4 cm, h. 1.2 cm, Inv. Oz 173

Humphrey No. 94: ‘Another [bone Trinket], in imitation of a Land-bird from ditto [Friendly Isles).’

The 4 cm long piece of bone is carved in the form of a bird. The head and neck have been carved out of the piece, the tail and wings are represented by notches. A small piece of bone beneath the bird indicates bird feet and is perforated. The remark ‘earring (?)’ is written on the Göttingen file card. This may also have been a pendant which was worn around the neck on a string, as stated by Labillardière (1800 Atlas, PI. 32, Fig.19).

A similar piece may be found in Vienna. In the inventory, it is similarly listed as an ‘Earring, from the Tongan Islands’ (Moschner 1955: 209). Inken Köhler, Ulrike Rehr, Gundolf Krüger


Labillardière, Relation du voyage à recherché de la Pérouse, vol. 2, Paris, 1800.

Moschner, Irmgard, ‘Die Wiener Cook-Sammlung, Südsee-Teil’, Archiv für Völkerkunde, Vienna and Stuttgart, 1955, vol. 10, pp. 136-253.

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