Chest ornament

Photography Carl Warner

Photography Carl Warner

Photography Carl Warner

Photography Carl Warner

Photography Carl Warner

Photography Carl Warner

Photography Carl Warner

Photography Carl Warner

Photography Carl Warner

Photography Carl Warner

Registration number
4451
Item name
Chest ornament 
Category
Bodywear
 
Indigenous name
 
Maker
Unrecorded  
Associated cultural group
 
Place
Pacific > Solomon Islands
Map
Collector
Mr William Effey 
Acquisition date
April 22, 1950 
Acquisition method
Donated by Mr William Stephens 
Raw material
shell (Spondylus and Nassarius sp.), porpoise teeth, turtle shell, glass beads, plant fibre string
Dimensions
H: 30 mm W: 160 mm L: 1070 mm D: Circum:

Description

Chest ornament of shell discs, beads, seeds and flying fox teeth; constructed like a necklace it is comprised of four rows of white, red and black shell discs from which five intricately designed sections of beads, seeds and teeth extend; each section begins with a small section of rows of teeth from which short strands of red beads extend to another section of rows of teeth and again extending to more strands of red beads; seeds with white shell rings are attached at each strand's end; turtle shell spacers divide the five sections; plaited plant fibre extend from each end of the ornament. Registration number 4451 marked with tag.

Research notes

Similiar chest ornament held at the Solomon Islands National Museum, attributed to Vella Lavella. The lack of a ridge on the gum line suggests these are porpoise teeth or a different species [D Akins 2013, pers. Comm., 5 September].

Identified as a status item (worn around the neck) from Malaita by Father Gabriel Maelasi [2008].

From the UQ Anthropology Museum exhibition 'In the Red; on the vibrancy of things' June 2012 - January 2013.
Featured on a Museum postcard early 1970's.

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