The Solomon Islands in the southwest Pacific form a double chain, roughly850 miles long, between New Britain and Vanuatu. The archipelago isremarkable for the richness of its decorative arts, which serve to adorn thehuman body and embellish ceremonial and utilitarian objects. SolomonIslanders are particularly remarkable for their sophisticated traditions ofshell inlay, in which delicately carved sections of mother-of-pearl or whiteshell are inset into the surfaces of wood objects. Artists produce ornatejewelry and personal ornaments fashioned from shell, porpoise teeth,turtle shell, and other materials. They also create, or created, diverse formsof valuables and ceremonial objects from the hard marble-like shell of thegiant clam. Although Western culture has had a considerable impact on thearchipelago, many of these art forms continue to flourish today.