Elema people, Gulf of Papua, Papua New Guinea armband

Elema people, Gulf of Papua, Papua New Guinea clam shell Arm band decorated with glass beads, and cut shell discs tied with braided fibre
19th Century
Size : 10 cm dia. x 5 cm wide
4 ins dia. x 2 ins wide
The Elema assessed their most valuable shell ornaments; clam shell armlets and crescent pearl shells according to their size and finish. They were often exchanged as currency, as well as being used as body decoration by men. They would be worn on special occasions as a sign of wealth, and were sometimes given to cement relationships. When they gave them they would ceremonially hang them from a pole. Exchanges were the high point of all festivals when these armbands as well as strings of overlapping shell discs and dogs teeth were exchanged, often for pigs.

Elema people, Gulf of Papua, Papua New Guinea armband

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ENQUIRIES

+44 (0) 207 689 7500

+44 (0)7836 684133
+44 (0)7768 236921

enquiries@finch-and-co.co.uk