Accession No

Z 3007


Description

'Cannibal fork' said to be formed of four strips of palm wood maintained together with some adhesive and a strip of pandanus fibre tied at the end of the handle.


Place

Oceania; Polynesia; Fiji; Viti Levu; Wai ni Mbuka River; Na Songa Vatu; Na Thawa Nisa caves


Period

19th century


Source

Knollys, Louis Frederic (Captain) [collector]; von Hügel, Anatole (Baron) [donor]


Department

Anth


Reference Numbers

Z 3007; O.X.447.H; 2 H [from catalogue card]


Cultural Affliation


Material

Wood; Plant; Fibre


Local Term

Mbulut oko


Measurements

19mm x 19mm x 275mm


Events

Exhibition (Maudslay Gallery)
EXH.2018.4 | Pacific Currents
Event Date
Author: Remke Velden


Context (CMS Context)
Catalogue card 1 reads [stamped in black ink:] 'FIJI'. [typed:] Z-3007. From the Na thawa nisa caves, Na songo vatu, Wainimbuka river, Viti Levu. Forks, flesh, ("Mbulut oko"). Taken with prisoners and spoils by Captain L. Knollys, A.D.C. one of whose men had been eaten by his captors, and on which occasion this fork was used, his bones having been found with it. No date given, - would be about 1876. "improvised from four strips of palm wood cemented together with arrowroot and bound at the top* with a strip of dried pandanus leaf. *Proximal end.' [stamped in black ink:] 'THE VON HUGEL COLLECTION CIRCA 1875.' [in pencil in the bottom left corner:] '12a/5'. [added in pencil:] '2 H'. [added in blue pen:] 'O.X.447.H.' [added in pencil:] 'OX 447' and 'Knollys was A.D.C. to Sir A. H. Gordon, governor 1875'. A small round red sticker pasted to the card. A black and white photograph of the object stapled to the back of the card.
Catalogue card 2 reads [handwritten in black ink:] 'Z 3007. From the Nathawanisa caves. Na songo vatu, Wai ni mbuka river, VITI LEVU. Forks, flesh 'Mbulutoko". Taken with prisoners and spoils by Capt. Knollys, A.D.C. one of whose men had been eaten by his captors, and on which occasion this fork was used, his bones having been found with it. No date given - would be about 1876. "Improvised from four strips of palm wood cemented together with arrow root and bound at the top with a strip of dried pandanus leaf." Proximal end.
Event Date 1/6/1996
Author: maa


Description (CMS Description)
Forks, flesh. "Improvised from four strips of palm wood cemented together with arrowroot and bouned at the top with a strip of dried pandanus leaf. Proximal end."
Event Date 1/6/1996
Author: maa


Context (CMS Context)
Information received by Fergus Clunie on 11 October 2011 regarding indigenous terminology of 'Cannibal' forks: 'Bulutoko is Nadroga [SW Vitilevu] terminology which probably also was used in Navosa and elsewhere in Colo. Von Hugel, who recorded the term in the field, was unsure whether it only applied to the forks composed of black tree fern wood slivers or to flesh forks generally. I'm increasingly inclined to suspect that i culanibakola/i saganibakola - literally fork of/for the human sacrifice - may (like a lot of other similarly qualified compound terms that have been recorded for artefacts) - have been more of an explanatory term applied when explaining what they were used for to outsiders rather than terms applied amongst themselves by people native to the areas in which the forks were used'.
Event Date 11/10/2011
Author: Lucie Carreau


Description (CMS Description)
'Cannibal fork' said to be formed of four strips of palm wood maintained together with some adhesive and a strip of pandanus fibre tied at the end of the handle (mobile). It looks like the fork was carved from a thin piece of wood - the carving of the prongs having produced cracks that have split the handle in four, the pieces having been glued back together. Two of the prongs are shorter than the others and they are all curving outwards. On the handle, 'Z-3007' and 'O.X.447.H.' inscribed in white ink.
Event Date 11/10/2011
Author: maa


Context (CMS Context)
Exhibited: 'Chiefs & Governors: Art and power in Fiji', Cambridge MAA, 7 June 2013 - 19 April 2014.
Event Date 25/4/2014
Author: Remke van der Velden


FM:109490

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