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Enquiry from Online Galleries regarding "Pacific Palau Islands Turtle Shell Woman’s Ceremonial Dish Micronesia"
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Look at what I found on the Online Galleries website!
Mid 19th Century
Size: 19.5cm wide, 11cm deep, 2.5cm high – 7¾ ins wide, 4¼ ins deep, 1 ins high
See Finch & Co catalogue no. 10, item no. 2, catalogue no. 16, item no. 127, and catalogue no. 14, item no. 42, for three examples
cf: James Hooper collection; Steven Phelps, item no. 939
It was the women of the Palau Islands who made these dishes by heating turtle shell in hot water and then shaping it in a wooden mould where it cooled and hardened. They became of ceremonial importance and were used on special occasions as a form of currency during ritual exchange. Regarded by Palau women as their exclusive property the dishes were often passed as heirlooms to the next generation through the female line.