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Early 20th C. Fijian Wooden Kava Bowl - Sea Turtle

Oceania, Fiji Islands, Viti Levu Island, ca. first half of the 20th century CE. A lovely carved wooden bowl supported by four tubular legs, and featuring three projecting tabs which double as handles. A small knob-shaped head extends from the front of the rim, a the bowl has a deep basin. Large bowls of this kind (known as tanoa or kumete ni yaqona), cut from a single block, were used for the mixing of the psychoactive beverage called kava (kava or kava kava in Tongan; yaqona, pronounced yanggona, in Fijian), made from the stems and roots of the pepper bush Piper methysticum, mixed with water. By the 18th century, the Tongan practice of kava preparation - a chief ritual - spread to eastern and coastal Fiji. Size: 13.875" L x 10.5" W x 3.375" H (35.2 cm x 26.7 cm x 8.6 cm).

Condition: Small chips to lateral protrusions, legs, and rim, with minor abrasions, otherwise intact and excellent. Light earthen deposits as well as beautiful brown patina throughout.

Provenance: private Honolulu, Hawaii, USA collection, collected in the 1970s

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