This unique shell bag is made with woven string and covered on both sides with shells. Mostly likely this piece was designed for a shaman's use in village tribal ceremonies.
The tribes of Irian Jaya can be found on the western half of the island of Papua New Guinea. Shell currency is no longer used in Irian Jaya but the heritage is still present in local customs and rituals. Shells are viewed as a sign of wealth and proclaim the chiefs’ economic power. Shell currency jewellery is still used for a bride price in wedding ceremonies. This historic handmade Oceanic artifact is a representational of modern tribal artistry.