Indiana University Bloomington IU Bloomington IUB

Oil Dish

This dish was carved to resemble half of a piece of a fruit that Fijians call leba, which comes from a small tree or shrub native to the island. Carved from a sacred wood, this shallow dish was used to hold scented coconut oil with which a priest anointed himself before prayer. Alternatively, it may have served as a palette for mixing his face and body paints.

Fiji Islands
Oil Dish
19th century
L. 15 ½ in. (39.4 cm)
Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, 80.113