How much is a tabua?

How much is a tabua?

Their size varied from the length of a hand to the length of a forearm. The largest weighed about three pounds and cost about $1,000. Buying a tabua ahead of an engagement is also about status, she said.

What is a tabua and why is it important to Fiji?

A tabua is a polished tooth of a sperm whale that is an important cultural item in Fijian society. They were traditionally given as gifts for atonement or esteem (called sevusevu), and were important in negotiations between rival chiefs.

What is a Fijian tabua?

Tabua are pierced and braided whales teeth, originally taken from the lower jaw of sperm whales found stranded on Fijian beaches. As whale strandings were relatively rare, so were whale teeth more valued as a result. Tabua are considered by Fijians as a kavakaturanga or ‘chiefly thing’.

How much is a tabua in Fiji?

$500 to $700
This means that 1000 Tabua is taken out of circulation in Fiji every five years. This is why tabua that usually cost $100 to $200 a decade ago will cost you $500 to $700 today.

How much does a whale tooth cost?

A scrimshaw whale’s tooth sold for a record-breaking $456,000 at a Cape Cod auction last week. The prized 8-inch tooth piece depicts a 19th-century whale ship, the William Tell, flying an American flag.

What is a tambua?

According to the Money Museum in Zurich, Switzerland “Tambua, the tooth of the sperm whale, is the most valuable medium of exchange on Fiji. Tambua are used for important transactions, for instance to pay the bride price. Besides, whale teeth are valuable gifts for births, deaths, weddings, or other festivities.

What is Scrimshaw made of?

Scrimshaw are objects created by whalers from the by-product of the whale, such as bones, teeth, baleen and bones. It was first done by sailors working on whaling ships out of the coast of New England between 1745 and 1759 until the moratorium of commercial whaling in 1986.

Is it illegal to buy scrimshaw?

19th and 20th century scrimshaw, scrimshaw crafted before 1989 (elephant) or before 1973 (sperm whale ivory, walrus ivory etc.) is legal. It is prohibited after that year for commercial import in the U.S. under the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

Is it illegal to own scrimshaw?

Is it legal to own scrimshaw?

What is Fijian Tabua?

A rare Fijian ‘Tabua’ incised whale’s tooth 19th century a Fijian tabua is a sperm whale tooth neck ornament attached to a looped sinnet fibre chain (Magimagi)… A good Fijian tabua, with aged patina and worked suspension holes to top and side.

How big is a Fijian Tabua tooth?

Fijian tabua-ceremonial whale tooth polished sperm whale tooth with two pierced holes to end for attachment. Rich creamy golden patina. Length 14 cm. Width 5.5 cm.

What are tabua made of?

Ceremonial tabua have holes drilled through the tip and the butt of the tooth, through which a braided cord, made from sennit (plaited strands of dry fibre or grass) is attached.

What is the gift of Tabua?

The gifting of tabua was traditionally a great ceremonial event in Fiji. They were given as offerings for war or peace, as tokens to symbolise marriage or as payment of bride price. In some cases tabua were even presented in exchange for the taking of a life.