Lot: 23

Currency / ornament ring "pal yua"

Papua New Guinea, Abelam

Provenance Size Starting price / estimated price
H: 9.3 inch;
B: 9.6 inch;
D: 3.5 inch (central opening)
1000 EUR / 2000 EUR

clamshell ("Tridacna Gigas"), base "Yua" means "clam shell ring" in the language of the Abelam people and "pal" is their name for the hornbill. His beak served as model for the notches engraved on the outer rim of the clam shell rings, indicating the number of transactions of its respective owner (e.g. pig sacrifices, ritual trades or marriage). The Abelam measure their wealth in such rings and use them for bride price. The price of a wife varies from one to six rings depending on her rank.