VOLUME 26 page 2
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Whale Tooth Pendant

Before describing this artifact I would like to take the time to refer to a recent paper by Y. H. Sinoto in which we find reference to other similar pendants: Tracing human movement in East Polynesia, A discussion of selected diagnostic artifact types.

Dr. Sinoto starts his paper by stating:

In recent years the elucidation of human movement into and within East Polynesia has re-emerged as a popular research topic. It seems that this task of tracing cultural movements can be greatly facilitated in East Polynesia through the study of certain artifacts that can supplant the role of Lapita pottery in Melanesia and parts of West Polynesia.

This sounds like a job for IMPLEMENTOLOGY, further on he adds:

Without a viable pottery culture, emphasis must be placed on observing and studying the attributes of other artifacts in order to discern early cultural relationships among the island groups in East Polynesia. Establishing a typological sequence of material culture within an island group is a prerequisite task, especially for defining the settlement period, and also in comparing those of the other island groups. Radiocarbon dates will aid in placing the typological sequence within a chronological context.

Certainly this line of thinking has been the foundation from which I have been building now for several years and produced the numerous Volumes dedicated to COMPARATIVE IMPLEMENTOLOGY.

Shaped Whale-tooth Pendants

Dr. Sinoto then goes on to give a thorough description of these Pendants:

Whale-tooth or simulated whale-tooth shaped pendants, have been found throughout Polynesia. These pendants are not necessarily single pendants. They can be strung together for a necklace. I have separated the shaped whale-tooth pendants from the other, so-called whale-tooth pendants. Further research and classification is necessary for a better understanding of these ornaments. I think it is useful to subdivide the non-shaped whale-tooth pendants into the following 3 varieties:

Variety 1
Unmodified whale-tooth, or simulated whale-tooth form, made of other materials with a suspension hole. The distal end protrudes outward.

Variety 2
Whale-tooth or other materials with a long and rounded stem, and pointed, outward-protruding distal-end.

Variety 3
Usually made of shell, but also of whale-tooth, these pendants have the whale tooth profile, but are flattened and have side perforations near the top.

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