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Three Fine Old Hair Comb Ornaments Makira Island Solomon Islands19th Century


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Collection No. TB-807
Size 12cm to 31cm
Three Fine Old Hair Comb Ornaments Makira Island Solomon Islands19th Century
Three Fine Old Hair Comb Ornaments Makira Island Solomon Islands19th Century
Three Fine Old Hair Comb Ornaments Makira Island Solomon Islands19th Century
Three Fine Old Hair Comb Ornaments Makira Island Solomon Islands19th Century
Three Fine Old Hair Comb Ornaments Makira Island Solomon Islands19th Century
Three Fine Old Hair Comb Ornaments Makira Island Solomon Islands19th Century
Three Fine Old Hair Comb Ornaments Makira Island Solomon Islands19th Century
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These three very beautiful old Hair Comb Ornaments with fine shell inlay are from Makira Island also known as San Christobal Island in the Solomon Islands.

The combs were made in the late 19th Century, they were worn in the hair as ornaments and sometimes they had feathers or colored fiber attached to the tops of the comb. They were called Arapa Reoreo.  These finely made combs have triangular-shaped shell inlays set in a black nut putty. The Solomons are famous for their shell work inlays used on many types of ceremonial objects including the famous Nusu Nusu Canoe Prow Ornaments.

Fine Comb Ornaments like these and Shell Money Ornaments are 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 hair comb ornaments and sets of shell money ornaments that were worn on important ceremonial occasions.  The two old field photos both show men wearing combs in their hair.

Provenance: Old Collection Australia & The Todd Barlin Collection of Solomon Islands Art

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