A KALI LALONI HEADREST, TONGA ISLANDS

Headrests were used in the Society Islands, Samoa, Tonga and Fiji primarily as pillows. The head was regarded as sacred and should not be allowed to touch the ground. Headrests also kept the head cool at night. They were used by both men and women, but particularly men. Elaborate headrests serve as prestige items elevating one’s position in society.
Headrest or “kali Laloni” in hardwood, in a classic shape evoking, seen from the front, a stylized character. The narrow, slightly curved lintel, tapering in its centre, is supported by four anthropomorphic feet tied to a wooden crosspiece by means of braided coconut fibre ties.

Fiji Islands
Wood and coconut fibre, nice patina of use, beginning of 20th Century.
Size: 48 x 8 cm, old patina of use.