The tema or kapkap are flat, round breast plates or disks made and worn as men’s chest or forehead ornament in the Solomon Islands. Tema is one of my favourite ornaments from the Melanesian region.
I particularly like the tema because of its spiritual meaning, its stunning appearance and temas take a long time to make, by hand. A A tema in the Melanesian culture is regarded as a spiritual object. They are worn as a protective shield during tribal warfare and for general well-being. The white part of the tema represents the moon. It is made from the giant clam shell. In the Santa Crus Islands, the traditional symbol of the frigate bird, shark or dolphin is intricately carved out of the turtle shell and embedded or attached to the clam shell base. The brown necklace is made from bark and bush ropes.