Club with shell ornaments

Solomon Islands
20th century
Artist Unidentified, Pacific Islander

Object Place: Solomon Islands


Overall: 53.3 x 9 cm (21 x 3 9/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


Africa and Oceania, Contemporary Art


Axes, maces, clubs

Archaeological records show that the Solomon Islands were first settled by humans in 3400 BP. The peoples of the Solomon Islands are not a unified social group and fighting between neighboring villages was especially common. Ceremonial practices, most notably headhunting, are particularly well-documented throughout the archipelago and ritual paraphernalia is of great importance. The zigzag pattern of the inlaid nautilus shell on this club is a common decorative feature of many ceremonial objects, suggesting that this club was used for ritual purposes and not used during combat.


Sold by Hurst Gallery, Cambridge, MA, to 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