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Malagan "Toktok" Figure19th Century West Australian Aboriginal Bardi Shield

Group of  3 Choiseul currency rings  Solomon Islands
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Group of 3 Choiseul currency rings Solomon Islands

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Group of 3 CHOISEUL currency rings

Solomon Islands

Kisa Choiseul money, was once used all around the island, The people of Choiseul do not know when this shell money was made or who made it. In the minds of the old people, it is very valuable and thus they have always cared for it like a baby.

Ways to Identify the Kisa

All kisa on Choiseul do not have the same size, height, and diameter. Variation in size is very useful in identifying them. Chiefs and other gentlemen of Choiseul in the old days had to have their kisa identity marks on the handles of their war clubs. The war club was like the bank Pass Books of the Europeans. It showed how many kisa the owner of the club had as well as their values or sizes.

Care and Measurement of Kisa

The old people have always taken special of the kisa to preserve it. The way to keep this kind of money was to bury it in the ground or to put it in caves. Before burial, the kisa were wrapped up with ivory nut leaves (endeve). One parcel contained three lupe kisa (a single kisa) or one salaka (three kisa).  If the man who attended to the money died, if he had no son, or if he did not show his relations where he kept the kisa they became lost. This kind of lost money we call mu (the kisa is mu)

Uses of Kisa

Kisa of large denominations had names in every district and language. This kind of money could be found only in the chief’s possession. People always knew how much big money each chief possessed and what its names were. This money was not frequently exchanged but was held mostly as security or as assets.  Formerly, kisa was mostly used in buying women; one woman could be obtained for from three to five kisa in addition to other smaller amounts of money. In war time, it was passed to other districts to get them to join in the fight as allies. After the fight, the chiefs would use it to pay compensation for war dead.

Size: Diamenter 6.5cm Width 6 cm

$650 AUD for set of three



Last Updated: Sunday, 18 February 2018 18:14