Kava bowl, from Fiji. ; pre 1910; 76/47/2


Te Manawa


Kava bowl, from Fiji.

About this object

Round, four legged, kava bowl.

Kava is used for medicinal, religious, political, cultural and social purposes throughout the Pacific. These cultures have a great respect for the plant and place a high importance on it. In Fiji, for example, a formal yaqona (kava) ceremony will often accompany important social, political, religious, etc. functions, usually involving a ritual presentation of the bundled roots as a sevusevu (gift), and drinking of the yaqona itself.

Kava is a crop grown in the western Pacific. The root of the Kava plant can be ground up and used as a mild sedative which produces mild euphoria and relaxation without compromising mental clairity. The name kava(-kava) is from Tongan and Marquesan;[1] other names for kava include ʻawa (Hawaiʻi), 'ava (Samoa), yaqona (Fiji), and sakau (Pohnpei).

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kava

Date Made

pre 1910

Place Made


Medium and Materials



250 mm high x 850 mm diameter

Subject and Association Description

This bowl came into Te Manawa's collection from the old Palmerston North Museum , where it was deposited in 1910 by Mrs Hirsch.

Named Collection

Collection of Te Manawa Museums Trust

Credit Line

Donated by Mr J Brydon Speedy.

Object Type

Bowl/Food Service T&E/Food T&E/Tools & Equipment for Materials/Nomenclature

Object number


Copyright Licence  

All rights reserved

H.B.Lloyd 30 Oct 2014 11:20 AM,UTC

Fijian kava bowls are usually six legged bowls. Tongan kava bowls are always four legged. I have a 140 year old kava bowl measuring 28" across,which belonged to king Taufa'ahau IV and was given to me as a gift.

This object is from
Te Manawa   Te Manawa

Include tags such as place names, people, dates, events and colours. Use commas to separate multiple tags. e.g. Pablo Picasso, Madrid, red, 1930s.