Plant fibre and feathers of the Cardinal MyzomelaSalto de línea Santa Cruz Islands (Solomon Islands, Oceania)Salto de línea 19th-20th centurySalto de línea
Tevau or “feather money” is a strip of plant fibre about 10 metres long, wound into a coil, to which are glued tiny red feathers from the Cardinal Myzomela bird. Making tevaus was a very laborious process and the craft, which had magical connotations, was passed down from fathers to sons. The tevau was primarily used for ritual payments—at wedding ceremonies, for example—and expensive purchases. Although Australian currency began to flood the islands in 1940, feather money continued to be used until 1970.
In this section of the catalogue you can learn about the coins that have existed through the ages, from the first pieces struck circa 600 BC to the ones used in the Late Modern Era. These objects are important testimonies of their day, providing information about the economy, politics, ideology and religious beliefs of the societies and cultures that issued them.