Oceanic Tribal Art - Kina Shell Necklace

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Necklace by unknown jeweler
Kina shell, nylon
22 inches long by 8 inches wide (56 by 26.3 cm)
20th century
Ex private San Francisco collection

Kina shells were traditionally worn in the western highlands of Papua New Guinea as pectorals, either with a fiber strap or on a plaque known as a moka kina. This shell has been made into a modern necklace with nylon crown knotting and a shell and wire clasp. It bears remnants of the red paste that was used to decorate the surface and highlight the pecked border. There is a very stable native repair at the left side.


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