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This is a taumi - an ornament tied around the neck. It was worn over a bare chest or tiputa - a shirt
made from barkcloth
or matting. Tahitian warriors wore taumi to show
their high status, and possibly for protection in battle. This
taumi is made from different plant fibres plus dog hair, feathers and sharks' teeth. It measures 67cm long by 70cm wide.
Pacific islanders make some objects just to give away, but some, like taumi, had several purposes. In the late 18th
century islanders often treated European voyagers as important visitors, and the Tahitian chiefs often presented guests
with these valuable objects as gifts (Europeans also bought them and traded for them). Do you think the taumi meant as
much to the Europeans as to the islanders?