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A Superb Old New Guinea Shell Ornament Yangoru Boiken Area East Sepik Papua New Guinea

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Collection No. TB-2903
Size 19cm
New Guinea & Oceanic Art
New Guinea Oceanic Art

This beautiful old shell ornament is from the Yangoru Boiken people in the East Sepik Province of Papua New Guinea , this type of ornament is often called a Kap Kap this is a pidgin English word or term for an ornament that is made with a white shell base and a cut out turtle shell design as an overlay. In this case the cut out is a lizard which is a common motif for these ornaments.  Worn in the hair or as a pendant during ceremonies and it is also a type of traditional wealth objects that are used in bridal dowries paid by a young mans family.

This example also has a very fine cane chain from the centre of the Kap Kap & leading to a very old dangling boars tusk as see in the photo.

Provenance:  Collected by Peter Hallinan (1938-2015).  Peter was a very well liked and respected expert on New Guinea art and made 40- 50 trips over the late 1960’s and 1970’s.