The Fiji Museum - Virtual Museum


A bete’s (priest’s) inspirational yaqona dish, carved from a block of sacred vesi wood (Intsia bijuga). Yaqona dishes of this form, raised on a sometimes elaborately whorled stand and carved from a single block of vesi, were probably the most widespread ibuburau in Fiji, certainly occurring throughout Viti Levu, Vanua Levu and the Lomaiviti group. Dishes of this kind were placed on the spirithouse floor and filled with yaqona. The bete would then kneel to suck up the liquid through a drinking tube (straw), not touching the dish with his hands. Use of a drinking tube appears to have been an essential part of religious yaqona drinking. Width: 26cm, height: 14.5cm.

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