Yua shell currency ring
Maprik area, East Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea
Tridacna shell, sennet, nassa shells
5.5" (14 cm) diameter
Late 19th to early 20th century
From the giant tridacna clam shell, currency rings were laboriously crafted with grit, water and bamboo, and used as bride price over generations. This “yua” is tapered at both interior and exterior edges and has a smooth satiny surface. The notched area on the edge refers to the totem bird of the area, the hornbill. See last photo of small, stable crack.