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Old Pigs Teeth Necklace Eastern Highlands Province Papua New Guinea


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Collection No. A-1350
Size (21cm)
Old Pigs Teeth Necklace Eastern Highlands Province Papua New Guinea
Old Pigs Teeth Necklace Eastern Highlands Province Papua New Guinea
Old Pigs Teeth Necklace Eastern Highlands Province Papua New Guinea
Old Pigs Teeth Necklace Eastern Highlands Province Papua New Guinea

Personal Ornaments in New Guinea and the Pacific Islands are some of the most beautiful objects made by the indigenous people of the Pacific Islands.  Ornaments made from shells or animal teeth are not only decorations to wear but they are part of the traditional wealth and currency used by native people.  They are used to pay for bridal dowries by a young mans family or as compensation for different types of disputes like of land for gardens or in traditional ceremonies where giving wealth to others creates future compensation or debts. Pigs are one of the most important types of traditional wealth throughout New Guinea and the Pacific Islands. Its no wonder that ornaments made from Boars Tusks and Pigs Teeth are an important type of traditional wealth.  The finely made Pigs Teeth Necklace is woven in a manner that keeps the teeth displayed in the beautiful manner when worn on a persons neck, the small band of small Nassa Shells add to the beauty of the necklace.

In 1985- 1986 I made several trips to the Highlands of New Guinea, at that time personal ornaments seemed to be readily availble but when I went back to the Highlands in 1990-1991 all these types of shell ornaments seemed much harder to find. People said “our grandparents are gone and no one is making these any longer”

Attached are a few of my field photos showing people wearing their traditional wealth ornaments.

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