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Coconut Shell Disk Necklace
Micronesia, probably Caroline Islands or Gilbert Islands
19th-early 20th century

length: about 80cm in total

This necklace is composed entirely of hundreds of round disks each cut from slithers of coconut shells threaded onto some native fibre twine. Each of the shell
disks has an excellent patina from age and wear.

Belts and necklaces of such disks were worn in Micronesia (similar disks were made by some groups in West Africa too). They were worn as part of a man's
dance costume.

A belt attributed to the Caroline Islands and illustrated in Leurquin (2004, p. 244) is composed of similar coconut shell disks.

References:
Kaeppler, A.L.,
The Pacific Arts of Polynesia & Micronesia, Oxford University Press, 2008.
Leurquin, A.,
A World of Belts: Africa, Asia, Oceania, America from the Ghysels Collection, Skira, 2004.

Provenance: private collection, London

Inventory no.: 4271

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