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Collection highlights

Ornaments for dancers of the Tuvalu fatele

Tui Pule are worn by female dancers of the fatele and in demand as pule, gold ringer and money cowrie shells, they’re made from, are seasonal.

© Auckland War Memorial Museum - Tāmaki Paenga Hira. 52423.

Teuga Saka

Teuga konei mai Tuvalu e taua kae fakapelepelegina. Malele konei e fakaoga malosi i taimi o fakafiafiaga, kae maise ite fatele; tela e lakei kiei a te unumua mo te kau-fatele. Ona kote faitega o teuga konei— mai ite taega o pule mo misa, ke oko kite tuiga fakatasi—se galuega e lasi, tela e isi se fakavasegaga o tino e fakaoga ne latou a teuga konei.

I vaitaimi nei, teuga konei e faka-mealofagina ki tino fai-malaga.

Malele Pule Uli are worn by young female dancers of the fatele, and these snake-head cowrie shells are rare and seasonal.

© Auckland War Memorial Museum - Tāmaki Paenga Hira. 52419.

Neck Ornaments

These shell ornaments are valuable and iconic in the island nation of Tuvalu. They are generally worn during festivities and celebrations, and by dancers of the fatele (Tuvaluan traditional dance). The process of making them, from collecting the shells to threading them together, is time consuming and thus determines who wears them.

Shell ornaments are iconic gifts for visitors to Tuvalu. These necklaces were gifted to Keith and Anne Chambers on leaving Nanumea in the 1970s.

Tui Misa are made from marine snail shells that are plentiful in Tuvalu and worn by all of the kau-fatele or dancers and singers in the fatele.

© Auckland War Memorial Museum - Tāmaki Paenga Hira. 52425.

 


The text and translation for this collection highlight was provided by Seipua O’Brien - Tuvalu Language Guest Educator Pacific, Auckland Museum.