Hearst Museum Portal

Pendant

Museum number:
11-40097
Permalink:
ark:/21549/hm21110040097
Accession number:
Acc.2006
Object count:
1
Description:
Pendant; for necklace (soulava); white shell, Spondylus discs; length 10 cm. Part of Kula ring.
Donor:
Bronislaw Malinowski and University Appropriation
Collection place:
Massim region, Papua Region, Papua New Guinea
Culture or time period:
Massim
Collector:
Bronislaw Malinowski and Bruce Lawes
Collection date:
1914-1920
Materials:
Seashell
Taxon:
Spondylus
Object type:
ethnography
Function:
2.2 Personal Adornments and Accoutrements
Accession date:
1965
Context of use:
These are fragments of spondylus shells from the Massim region Papua New Guinea, the easternmost tip of the mainland and the various islands eastward that made up the Kula ring made famous by Malinowski and further discussed by Mauss. Necklaces and pendants, soulava like 11-40097, traveled clockwise while armshells, mwali, traveled counter-clockwise. Travelling from island to island was often dangerous and made outsiders question the decision-making of going long distances to give gifts, but Malinowski’s findings of course made it clear that this gift-giving was part of a larger political landscape.
Department:
Cat. 11 - Oceania (incl. Australia)
Comment:
cf. 11-40071 cf. Malinowski, Bronislaw. Argonauts of the western Pacific. Routledge, 2014.
Images: