The Fiji Museum - Virtual Museum


Waseisei necklace composed of tusks carved from strips of Sperm Whale tooth. This style of necklace probably evolved during the early 1800s in response to the introduction of metal tools and a marked increase in the supply of Sperm Whale teeth brought to Fiji by traders. It largely replaced the stubbier vuasagale necklace of earlier days. Thousands of this new 'sabre-toothed' necklace were made for wear in Samoa, Tonga and Fiji, with many finding their way into the highlands of eastern Viti Levu during the chronic mid-century fighting between Bau and Rewa as payment by coastal and lowland chiefs to the highland mercenaries, either to fight on their side or to stop fighting against them. Length of longest tooth: 11.5cm; Length of shortest tooth: 5.5cm.

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