Image: The Body of Tee, a Chief

The Body of Tee, a Chief

'The Body of Tee, a Chief, as Preserved after Death in Otaheite ca1781-1783'.

John Webber
© The Australian Museum Research Library


In the Society Islands the bodies of chiefs who died naturally were preserved through the removal of internal organs and the placement of cloth inside the body to absorb the body fluids. Coconut oil was also applied to the skin. The body was placed in public view, attended by a priest, for a considerable time and offerings of fruit, food and flowers were made.

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Tags Death Online, disposing of the dead, preservation, Society Island, Tahiti, Society Islands,