Tabua (pronounced tambua) consist of a polished and smoked sperm whale tooth attached to a cord of coconut fibre. They were and are traditionally used as presentation gifts at weddings and funerals and other important occasions, including exchanges between chiefs for strategic purposes. In the early 19th century European traders quickly realised the local value of whale teeth and imported them in large numbers.
|Common Name||presentation tooth|
|Material||whale tooth; plaited fibre|
|Collection class||Religion and magic|
|Production date||19th century|
|Production year high||1983|
|Function name||ritual presentation|