Teveau Feather Currency, Solomon Islands

S/N:1706

  • £9,650
  • €11,550 Euro
  • $13,027 US Dollar

Belgium

DC Member since 2020
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Teveau Feather Currency, Solomon Islands

COLLECTIT! by SPECTANDUM
Feather money was used on the Santa Cruz archipelago, a remote group forming part of the Solomon Islands for a very long time. The feather money consisted of a 9 metre strip of plant fibres covered with the red feathers of the small scarlet honeyeater (Myzomela Cardinalis) and often took the form of a double coil. One double coil was a trading unit which could not be subdivided and consisted of around 50 to 60 thousand red feathers.

Production of the feather money was a 3-stage process. Each stage was carried out by a specialist who had received the magic skills from the spirits. The technique was passed on from father to son. In the first stage, the scarlet honeyeaters were caught by a bird catcher, who painted a branch with mulberry tree sap to act as glue. Once the bird was stuck in the glue its feathers were plucked. A second specialist was responsible for making the platelets (called lendu) composing the coils using stiff pigeon feathers. The red feathers were then attached to each platelet. Altogether, it took 1500 to 1800 of these platelets to form 1 coil. Each coil took around 700 hours to make. The platelets were then taken to the coil-maker who bound them all together to form a 9-metre-long coil. For storage, the coils were packed in leaves and cloths together with amulets and hung about 2 metres above the fireplace. One of the most notable uses of feather money was in payment of the bride price. Feather money has fallen into disuse since the beginning of the 20th century.

Dimensions: 

  • H: 72cm (28.35in)
  • W: 52cm (20.47in)
  • D: 5.5cm (2.17in)

Period: 

Second quarter 20th Century

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COLLECTIT! by SPECTANDUM

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Elsense Steenweg 204
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For COLLECTIT! by SPECTANDUM owner Guy Kuypers, the history of his collecting began at the Porte de Clignancourt in Paris with a Napoleon III case filled with Exotic Birds. The colorful birds piqued my imagination and became the beginning of a passion for Natural History, Ethnography, European Works of Art, Antiquities and Curiosities that drive me on all continents, looking for fascinating and rare objects. Whether they are natural or man-made, all have an interesting story to tell.

So, it is finally in this spirit that the collection, which encompasses Natural History, Tribal Art, Paintings, Sculptures and Curiosities from many cultures and periods in history finds its rationale and its roots.

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