Yua Shell

Abelam Culture, Papua New Guinea

Early 20th C.

Tridacna Gigas Shell

11” H x 10” W x 1” Thick

This is an impressive example of a yua.  It is carved out of the marble-like shell of the giant clam and was used as currency.  Yuas are ceremonial valuables and are displayed or exchanged as part of important rituals and rites of passage. The notches carved into the side symbolize a hornbill.  In Abelam culture, the hornbill plays an important part in mythology. The Yua's form is timeless, modern yet ancient.