Santa Cruz Islands, Solomon Islands
Late 19th-early 20th century
Feathers, fiber, bark, seeds, shell, glass beads, leaves
On mount: 33″ (w) x 2 1/2″ (d)
Price on request
Tevau measure around thirty feet in length and consist of up to 60,000 red feathers of the scarlet honey-eater. The feathers are attached to a series of overlapping plates attached to a coil of fiber. They are used to buy commodities such as canoes, pigs and various forms of labor. The tevau were made exclusively by hereditary specialists, whose skills were believed to derive from ancestral spirits.
When not in use, the coils were protected with palm leaves and bark cloth, with powerful charms placed over the tevau to provide spiritual protection.