Nendo Island, Santa Cruz
Currency roll / bridal wealth
Hibiscus fiber, feathers (Myzomela cardinalis), seeds (Coix lacryma-jobi), shell
Early 20th century
Length: 30 ¾ in. (78 cm)
Height (excluding base): 19 ¼ in. (49 cm)
Published: Les enclaves polynésiennes,
Voyageurs et Curieux, 2018
Price: on request
Once uncoiled, this money roll called tevau is roughly 30 ft. (9 meters) long. A multitude of rectangular plates covered with feathers are overlapped and affixed to a fiber armature. The feathers are those of the Myzomelia cardinalis, a scarlet bird that feeds on honey.
Feather money was used in Santa Cruz as a form of currency for settling important obligations. Tevau were also given as payment on the occasion of a wedding as bride price.