Artist Unidentified, Pacific Islander
Overall: 19 x 55.5 cm (7 1/2 x 21 7/8 in.)
Medium or Technique
shells, fabric, paint?
Not On View
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.
Headbands such as this one were commonly part of a much larger headdress worn during battle or during ceremonial activities for which a headdress was required.
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)
Gift of Geneviève McMillan in memory of Reba Stewart