A Fine Set of Shelly Money Armbands & Belt, Malaita Island Solomon’s19th Century
This beautiful set of two Shell Money Armbands & a Belt are made from tiny little shell beads that were individually made by hand in the 19th Century. They come from the island of Malaita in the Eastern Solomon Islands. These are of the finest quality of this type of shell money.
Shell Money is an important type of traditional currency in the Solomon Islands and throughout the Pacific Island in general. Traditional wealth objects like these were often part of a bridal dowry or used payments for compensation in disputes about land or gardens. Each family had some sets of shell money ornaments that were worn on important ceremonial occasions
These were collected at Lau Lagoon which is famous for its manmade artificial islands that were made by collecting and piling large chunks of coral over a prolonged period, these villages were once on the mainland of Malaita but during pre- European times, warfare caused the people to seek safety by building these artificial islands which were easy to defend. Living on the islands gave the people a huge resource in fishing & they traded fish with people on the mainland of Malaita for vegetables and other important items.
Provenance: The Todd Barlin Collection of Solomon Islands Art
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