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Toothie shell, Marieneer shell and Black Cat's Teeth shell necklace

Date: 1998
Overall: 940 x 15 mm, 0.04 kg
Medium: Cotton/nylon, Toothie shell, Marieneer shell and Black Cat's teeth shells
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Necklace
Object No: 00030308
Place Manufactured:Tasmania

User Terms

    SignificanceTwo hundred years later, Palawa women continue this important association of exchange and gift giving with shell necklaces. As Palawa people’s lives were drastically changed by one of the harshest episodes of colonisation in the history of Australia, they added new meanings to their shellwork.

    Nowadays, pollution, over-collecting and fishing activities mean that the maireener shells – especially the larger ones – are becoming increasingly hard to find. Palawa shellwork, which was widely collected from the 19th century as curios and souvenirs – once an unknown part of community sustenance and survival – has, since the 1990s, been much sought after by collectors and institutions around the world as a contemporary cultural practice, assisting Palawa women to maintain this particular important cultural practice.
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