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Shell necklace

Date: 1991
Overall: 850 x 590 mm, 9.9 kg
Medium: Shell, ochre, thread
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Necklace
Object No: 00015577
Place Manufactured:Gorrong-gorrong

User Terms

    A shell necklace made by Shirley Minjingala from Gorrong Gorrong, Elcho Island, Northern Territory (Language: Burarra.)
    The shells are painted with ochre and threaded together with brown cord.

    SignificanceNecklaces such as this one by Shirley Minjingala, are decorative pieces but illustrate the importance of the sea and waterways to Elcho Island people.
    HistoryManingrida is a coastal town north of Darwin and lies on the estuary of the Liverpool River in North East Arnhem Land.
    The Kunibídji people are the traditional landowners of this country and the name Maningrida is an Anglicised version of the Kunibídji name Manayingkarírra, which comes from the phrase 'Mane djang karirra', meaning 'the place where the dreaming changed shape'.
    Shell and seed necklaces are a traditional part of Arnhem Land life and vary in design and pattern. Different shell types can be used in conjunction with seeds and various other natural materials such as grasses.
    The shells are collected on the nearby coast in a labour intensive process and some are able to be modified to be threaded or in this instance by Shirley Minjingala, painted with ochre.
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