A Fine Fijian Chief’s ‘Yaqona’ or Kava Bowl
Carved of vesi wood with traces of old residue deposits, with old ‘fibre’ tribal repair
Size: 14cm high, 42.5cm dia. - 5½ ins high, 16¾ ins dia
Ex Pitt Rivers collection, Farnham
Ex Private collection, Felicity Nicholson
Ex Forge and Lynch Ltd, London, 2017
Ex Private London collection
Kava is a ritual drink made from an infusion of grated, chewed or pounded dried roots of ‘Piper methysticum’, a species of pepper plant. It is a preparation drunk on many Pacific islands and the drinking of Yaqona, as it is called on Fiji, continues to be one of the most significant ceremonies performed in Fijian society.
The bloom on this kava bowl was achieved by allowing the Yaqona to stand in the bowl and coat the surface. The resulting layer or ‘kani’ could then be scraped off and reused to make a more powerful version of the drink.
The wooden bowls are called ‘tanoa’ and the older ones, such as this example, are thin walled with a shallow bowl and a carved lip that flares outward in a graceful curve.
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33 000 €