The tema disk is a status oenament worn by men of high rank. The dusk is ground down form very hard fossilised clam shell, and this example is as large as a European porcelain side plate (diameter 17 cm /6 3/4 inches). It is decorated with an intricate shell ornament depicting a abstract arrangement of bonito fish inside the distinctive W-shaped outstretched wings of a flying frigate bird. The annual bonito a migration is regarded t as a gift of food from the spirits and the aggressive frigate birds which fly over the shoals at mark them for the fishing canoes are greatly admired for their aggressive hunting and feeding. The ornament is tied onto the shell disk with hand rolled string which is then extended to form a neckband.
Condition: Due to the imperfections in the living shell, there are some natural markings on the shell and, because the edge can become friable when ground thin, the bottom edge has been repaired