Neck ornament

Production date
Solomon Islands
See full details

Object Detail

Shell money necklace of red, white and black shell disks with pendant of black wooden cross with shell inlay. Red plastic button used as a fastening.
CH classification INDIGENOUS CULTURES Melanesian & South Sea Islander neck ornament
CH classification COSTUME ACCESSORIES Jewellery necklace
Production place
L. 270mm
Media/Materials description
Shell, string, wood, plastic button
SHELL MONEY \ This is Solomon Islands custom shell money which \ is still used traditionally for bride purchases. The \ darker the colour of the shell the higher the value.
SOLOMON \ EXPORTERS \ Box 439 Honiara SOlomon Islands \ TEL: 393
History and use
This necklace is from the Helen Barrett collection, which was donated to Queensland Museum in 2014. Miss Helen Barrett worked as a nurse with the Australian Board of Mission in Solomon Islands from 1947 until 1984. Barrett was based at Tasia in Isabel Province, and Maravovo on Guadalcanal before being stationed at the Hospital of the Epiphany at Fauabu, Malaita from 1968 until 1984. In the 1990s, Barrett worked with the Mothers Union in the Torres Strait Islands. Her collection largely comprises of objects that were presented as gifts over the course of her missionary work in Melanesia.

The necklace combines traditional Malaita shell currency with the Christian symbolism of the cross.
Registration number