Clam Shell Currency Necklace
Papua New Guinea
17.5” long, pendant: 3.5” diameter
Early 20th C. or earlier
Price On Request

The pendant is a mottled cream color with smooth, soft edges from use. The carved notches of the currency represent a stylized hornbill which is associated with several spiritual meanings in Papuan religion: the transfer of power, human reproduction and the female nurturing instinct.  In New Britain hornbills act as carriers of the soul when someone dies.  The toggle is an old scarf weight from Mauritania, also carved from clam shell.