Pitt Rivers Museum Anthropology and World Archaology




Whale tooth necklace



Augustus Henry Lane Fox Pitt Rivers founding collection

Given to the Museum in 1884

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Whale tooth necklace, Fiji

This necklace made of sperm whale tooth, a wasekaseka, was collected before 1877. Whales were not hunted in Fiji before European contact, though they were sometimes stranded on the shore. So until the early nineteenth century, whale ivory was only available in small quantities, and used by influential, high-status individuals. Later, when whale teeth became more available, they were used more frequently in ornaments and necklaces, though such necklaces were never common.

View database record 1884.74.23

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