Shell Currency

Production date
Unknown
Country
Papua New Guinea
State/Province
East New Britain
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Object Detail


Description
Shell Currency or pele.
Classification
CH classification INDIGENOUS CULTURES Melanesian & South Sea Islander currency
Maker
Measurements
L1400 mm
Media/Materials description
Shell and string.
History and use
Pele, like the Tambu of New Britain, is a traditional currency found and used in the Duke of York Islands. However, in direct contrast to its monetary value on the Duke of York Islands, the Pele fills a purely ornamental role within New Britain.

The pele consists of small, circular discs about 4mm in diameter and are made from various shellfish and marine snails which are collected by women. The shells are first broken into small pieces. Then a small stone is used to drill the desired disc shape, then it the discs are smoothed and threaded together according to the shade of the shell.

Uploaded to the Web 27 May 2011.
Registration number
E15924.1

State/province

Colours

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