Feather Currency (tevau)
On View In:
Gallery 256
Artist:   Artist Unknown  
Title:   Feather Currency (tevau)  
Date:   19th century  
Medium:   Vegetable fiber, feathers, bark, shell, seed pods, wood, pig tail  
Dimensions:   344 1/2 x 2 1/4 x 3/4 in. (875.03 x 5.72 x 1.91 cm)  
Credit Line:   The William Hood Dunwoody Fund  
Location:   Gallery 256  

Feather currency was made exclusively on Santa Cruz Island and traded from there to other islands in Melanesia. This kind of currency was manufactured by three skilled craftsmen, esteemed for their ability to communicate with the spirits. Each roll required feathers from about three hundred birds, and it was the job of the first specialist to collect red ones from scarlet honeyeaters. The second craftsmen glued the red feathers to gray ones taken from pacific pigeons, and then attached these to a long coil of twined fibers. The third artist wound the resulting belt in towards the middle, and provided finishing details, such as bark fibers, shells, seeds, and pieces of turtle shell.

Object Description  
Classification:   Various (Do Not Use)  
Creation Place:   Oceania, Solomon Islands, , Santa Cruz Island,  
Accession #:   90.80a,b  
Owner:   The Minneapolis Institute of Arts