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Old Shell Ornaments Yangoru Area East Sepik Province Papua New Guinea


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Collection No. Left: TB-2900 Right: TB-2899
Size Left (14cm) Right (16cm)
Old Shell Ornaments Yangoru Area East Sepik Province Papua New Guinea

This pair beautiful old shell ornaments are 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 from two materials;  a white shell base and a cut out turtle shell design or Coconut  Shell as an overlay. In this case the cut out made from Coconut Shell in the form of a traditional clan design.

Worn in the hair or as a pendant during ceremonies but it is also a type of important traditional Wealth Object that are used in bridal dowries paid by a young man’s family or as compensation over disputes. Old shell ornaments are family heirlooms and are also part of a families traditional wealth and community prestige.

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.

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