"Tuali", Mother of pearl shell

New Britain, Papua New Guinea

Ex collection Steijler Mission SVD, collected by Father Höltker 1935-1938

Pearlshell and fiber, 17 x 14 cm

Among the Arawé of New Britain this object was used for important transactions such as payment of fines and brides money. You also could pay a house or a canoe with these Mother of Pearl shells. They were very valuable since they were lying at the deeper parts of the ocean and the inhabitants could not reach them. The larger tuali shells were displayed at feasts.

Cf: René van Dijk, Women, pigs and shells, lost forms of Money, part 1, page 153

Price:  on hold