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Beyond the Rim: A Comparative Study of Kava Bowls from Samoa, Tonga and Fiji

Valentin Boissonnas

JPS, Vol 123, No 4 pg (357-382)


The article presents a detailed comparative study of kava mixing bowls associated with the cultural complex of the West Polynesian kava-circle and its Fijian yaqona circle offshoot. By cross-referencing archaeological evidence, documented collection histories and bowl typologies a clearer picture emerges of the centres where the bowls were produced and the formal evolution of these vessels, and also illustrates in a unique way how different groups of people and goods moved and were moved around Western Polynesia in the 18th and 19th century.


kava bowls, yaqona bowls, museum collections, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, West Polynesian interaction

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