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Enquiry from Online Galleries regarding "Papua New Guinea Middle Sepik Iatmul Man’s Conus and Tridacna Shell Girdle"
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Look at what I found on the Online Galleries website!
Late 19th – Early 20th Century
Size: approx: 104cm long – 41ins long /109cm high – 43 ins high (with stand)
Ex Private European collection
cf: Archives Museum Der Kulturen, Basel (F) vb4315; a photograph circa 1930 of a man in ‘Great Warrior Costume’ of the Middle Sepik wearing a similar belt composed of many heavy cut shell rings. Illustrated Shadows of New Guinea, Barbier-Mueller Museum, Geneva
Making a girdle or bracelet of conus or tridacna clamshell is a task that can take weeks if not months when only rudimentary tools are available. Exchanges follow complex rituals and are fundamental to economic and social life as they make possible the acquisition of materials, and even wives, from outside their clan's immediate region.