Shell Wealth Bridal Ornament
This finely woven bridal ornament is a wealth object is called ambusap in Iatmul language. These are used as part of exchange ceremonies between clans as a dowry. The string is all hand made from tree bark fibre and the hundreds of tiny Nassa shells are individually stitched in rows to get the best aesthetic look, the bottom ending in a crocodile head, bailer shells cascade down the centre of the back & the sides have multiple pearl shell dangles. Early to mid 20th Century. The field photos shows a similar bridal ornament with an older woman in the village. These are very important family heirlooms that are traditional wealth.