Open today 10 am – 5 pm

Dance Belt

Object Number:P1668B
Current Location: Collections Storage
Provenience: Caroline Islands
Date Made: Before 1903
Early Date: 1893
Late Date: 1903
Materials:Plant Fiber
Coconut Shell
Length: 119 cm
Width: 11 cm
Credit Line:Gift of Dr. William H. Furness 3rd., 1904


Strands of plant fiber, braided and knotted at the ends, fanning out and running through wooden spacers to form 18 strings that make up the middle (decorated) part of the belt. Besides the spacers at either end, there are three additional pairs of wood spacers along the length of the belt. On the 18 strings are strung small dark and light brown discs of coconut shell and, on the middle strand, discs of white shell. Through the triangular areas of transition between ties and decorated middle of the belt are threaded what appear to be twisted pieces of red [European] cotton: one at one end, three at the other. This belt was very much damaged, but has undergone conservation and minimal reconstruction.

You may also be interested in these objects:

Report problems and issues to digitalmedia@pennmuseum.org.