Armband

Possibly Solomon Islands
20th century, 1950–2000
Artist unknown, Pacific Islander, Artist Unidentified, Pacific Islander


Object Place: Possibly Solomon Islands

Dimensions

Overall: 9 x 12.5 x 8 cm (3 9/16 x 4 15/16 x 3 1/8 in.)

Accession Number

2009.2755

Medium or Technique

Braided vine, nassa shells

Not On View

Collections

Africa and Oceania, Contemporary Art, Jewelry

Classifications

Bracelets and armlets

Jewelry and other bodily adornments serve a variety of purposes. Certain objects are symbolic of the wealth and prestige of the wearer, while others serve as protective devices that ward off spiritual and physical harm. Among many Oceanic communities, the importance of bodily adornment carried into the afterlife and the deceased would be buried with their personal jewelry.

This armband, possibly from the Solomon Islands, is made of braided fiber and Nassa shells. Men, women, and children all wore similar armbands on the upper portion of the arm and more elaborately dcorated armbands were reserved for ceremonial attire.

Provenance

1974, acquired in Papua New Guinea (Moresby or Lae) by Geneviève McMillan (b. 1922 - d. 2008), Cambridge, MA; 2008, to the Geneviève McMillan and Reba Stewart Foundation, Cambridge; 2009, gift of the Geneviève McMillan and Reba Stewart Foundation to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 17, 2009)

Credit Line

Gift of Geneviève McMillan in memory of Reba Stewart