POSTCARDS FROM OCEANIA 16

Slingstone from Guam - 1500 AD.

Government House, Suva, Fiji, 1920.

                   

Canoe prow, Trobriand Islands.

Early Samoan image.

Vanuatu flute.

Fijian warriors.

 
A modern and beautifully made shell currency from Malaita in the Solomon Islands. It is made from approximately 75000 heishi type handmade shell beads spaced with wooden spacers. Shell money in the Solomon Islands is used for: The furnishing of the bride price and the blood money, the buying of canoes, the payment of fees and fines, including redemptive offerings to ghosts, as well as for buying of pigs and food.
 

An early Samoan photograph. The lady kneeling
in the centre is of high birth and is the tribal virgin.

Tahitian dancers, 1963.

 
An example of Samoan siapo (taupo) made in the traditional style and comes from Apia, Samoa. The bark from the Indian Mulberry tree is softened and formed (beaten and bleached in the ocean) to make the "fabric". The traditional dyes extracted from Polynesian plants are then painted upon the surface. This design shown above is original and is of a type that is very popular of the Pacific. Siapo is typically used today as decorative pieces, wall hangings and often framed. In the old days, siapo was used as the fabric for the Lava Lava of the elite class.
 

Polynesia Postcards and Picture Galleries
 
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(E-mail: jane@janeresture.com -- Rev. 12th October 2008)