Feather Currency (tevau), 19th century

Unknown artist, expand_more

Feather currency was made exclusively on Santa Cruz Island and traded from there to other islands in Melanesia. This kind of currency was manufactured by three skilled craftsmen, esteemed for their ability to communicate with the spirits. Each roll required feathers from about three hundred birds, and it was the job of the first specialist to collect red ones from scarlet honeyeaters. The second craftsmen glued the red feathers to gray ones taken from pacific pigeons, and then attached these to a long coil of twined fibers. The third artist wound the resulting belt in towards the middle, and provided finishing details, such as bark fibers, shells, seeds, and pieces of turtle shell.



Tevau, (feather currency) (#207)
Feather Currency (tevau)
Accession Number
Curator Approved

This record is from historic documentation and may not have been reviewed by a curator, so may be inaccurate or incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@artsmia.org.

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