Women's money in the form of a dish (toluk)

Oceanic, Palauan
mid 20th century
Artist Unidentified, Pacific Islander

Object Place: Republic of Palau


Overall: 20.3 x 12.7 cm (8 x 5 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Tortoise shell

On View

Arts of Asia, Oceania, and Africa Gallery (Gallery 177)


Africa and Oceania, Contemporary Art


Decorative arts

This tortoise shell dish is a form of women’s currency on Palau, an island located 500 miles east of the Philippines. Men and women have different forms of currency which are not to be exchanged between members of the opposite sex. This type of dish currency is highly valued and is only exchanged between families during important events such as births, marriages, or deaths.


1970, acquired in Palau by Dr. Solange Skinner, Boston; 2009, gift of Solange Skinner to the MFA. (Accession date: November 18, 2009)

Credit Line

Gift of Governor Carlton Skinner and Solange Skinner