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Enquiry from Online Galleries regarding "Polynesian Cook Islands Rarotonga Fine Shell Hat Band or Necklace"
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Look at what I found on the Online Galleries website!
Late 19th Century
Size: 21.5cm dia., 2cm dia. (shell strand) – 8½ ins dia., ¾ ins dia (shell strand)
cf: Auckland War Memorial Museum; AM47210 for a similar but later example
Traditionally in Polynesia garlands of scented leaves and flowers, sun visors and capes were a common part of everyday dress. Fishing hats were also essential for protection from the glaring sun on the sea and intricate, colourful hatbands were used to keep them in place. Contact with Western cultures led to a new introduced form in the late 19th century of the ‘Panama’ hat made from the young leaf of the coconut palm. Hatbands then developed to add Polynesian interest to this European style of Pacific hat.