University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

Ceremonial Object [Object of the Day #115]


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Pearl shell disc with incised geometric patterns filled with red ochre. Such discs were worn by Australian Aboriginal men, suspended from belts, as pubic ornaments.  They were also highly valued objects of exchange, traded hundreds of miles into the interior of Australia from the northwest coast, where they were made.  The incised patterns are typical […]

Forehead Ornament [Object of the Day #111]


By: admin

Chief’s forehead ornament from the Marquesas Islands, consisting of a headband of woven coconut fiber, with a large disk of pearl shell overlaid with a carved sheet of sea turtle shell.  The openwork carving includes six human faces and, at the top, two curved elements resembling the points of the large ceremonial fishhooks used to […]

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