Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object
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Pendant (Ulute or Papafita)

Date:
19th–early 20th century
Geography:
Solomon Islands, Possibly Malaita Island, Possibly Malaita province
Culture:
Solomon Islander
Medium:
Tridacna shell, fiber, pigment
Dimensions:
H. 2 1/2 x W. 2 1/4 in. (6.4 x 5.7 cm)
Classification:
Shell-Ornaments
Credit Line:
Bequest of John B. Elliott, 1997
Accession Number:
1999.47.21
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 354
The Solomon Islands in the southwest Pacific form a double chain, roughly
850 miles long, between New Britain and Vanuatu. The archipelago is
remarkable for the richness of its decorative arts, which serve to adorn the
human body and embellish ceremonial and utilitarian objects. Solomon
Islanders are particularly remarkable for their sophisticated traditions of
shell inlay, in which delicately carved sections of mother-of-pearl or white
shell are inset into the surfaces of wood objects. Artists produce ornate
jewelry and personal ornaments fashioned from shell, porpoise teeth,
turtle shell, and other materials. They also create, or created, diverse forms
of valuables and ceremonial objects from the hard marble-like shell of the
giant clam. Although Western culture has had a considerable impact on the
archipelago, many of these art forms continue to flourish today.
John B. Elliott, Princeton, NJ, until (d.) 1997; John B. Elliott Estate, until 1999

Kjellgren, Eric. Oceania: Art of the Pacific Islands in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York and New Haven: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2007, 103, 174.

Kjellgren, Eric. How to Read Oceanic Art. How to Read 3. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2014, pp. 60.



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