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Mendi Shell Currency Necklace

Mendi Shell Currency Necklace

Regular price $423.00
Regular price Sale price $423.00
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Mendi people, late 19th or early 20th century, Mendi Valley Area, Southern Highlands Province, Papua New Guinea. 

Charming old shell pectoral ornament are from the Mendi Valley Area of the Southern Highlands Province of Papua New Guinea. The town is located in the Mendi River Walley, 1675 meters above seal level, on the vulcanic limestone hills. Shells in general were highly valuated as traditional wealth by the people of the interior of New Guinea. They had to travel through trading from coast to where they were collected to hundreds of kilometers through highly rugged terrains. 

Most shell ornaments made in New Guinea were used as an adornment during sacred ceremonies, but also an important type of traditional wealth and currency that was used to pay for bridal dowries, land disputes, or given as a sign of respect during funerals of important clan leaders both men and women.

Delicate old necklace are in good condition. Shells are smoothed from wearing and handling over many years and generations. Age-related wear and chip. Length c. 60,0cm and shells approx. 5,3cm x 5,4cm x 3,2cm. 

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  • Returns

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