Indonesian, New Guinea White Cowrie Shells On Braided Rope, Two Strand Large Ceremonial Necklace:
This is a large Indonesian ceremonial necklace from New Guinea is made up of two rows of white Cowrie Shells attached to a base of beige braided rope, and decorated with a single band of seeds. Each Shell is, approximately, 7 to 10cm long, the necklace is 33cm in width and 40cm high, and is finished with a beige rope loop and a circular wood toggle.
These beautiful tribal shell necklaces are not only used to create the unique form of Oceanic Art they are “Tabu” a form of Tolai Shell Money. Tabu played a very important part in the life of Tolai villagers being used for settling disputes, bartering for produce, as part of the traditional ‘bride price’ as well as being regarded as a symbol of prestige, and along with goods and cash was the customary method of acquiring land.