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

Object Place: Sepik River, Papua New Guinea


Overall: 42 x 16 x 3 cm (16 9/16 x 6 5/16 x 1 3/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Melo shell, pink plastic, nylon thread

Not On View


Africa and Oceania, Contemporary Art, Jewelry



In New Guinea, particularly in urban areas, women create personal adornments out of plastic pieces, beads, or other items from inexpensive necklaces they purchase and disassemble. They then restring the necklaces with old beads and other traditional materials. This necklace combines traditional braided vine and oval bailer shells with nylon and a piece of pink plastic, shaped to match the shell.


1967, acquired in Angoram, Sepik, Papua New Guinea 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