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Jewelry and My Uncle Johnny

Leslie is an artifacts trader who was born in Papua New Guinea and she travels back periodically and ships powerful, beautiful and authentic tribal treasures. 

When I was a kid I discovered Oceania and it blew me away.  We had a set of encyclopedias and that was probably where I saw my first images.  These people from the tropical Pacific Ocean had big fat hair, big fat lips and noses, skin as dark as the ground beneath their feet, with a crazy fierce look in their eyes.  They boldly adorned themselves with clay and ochre, seedpods and seashells, woven reeds, fur and feathers.  One of my earliest memories of looking at images of people from Papua New Guinea was seeing a man in a group scene and recognizing a doppelganger for my uncle Johnny. 

The people, their art and artifacts, resonated just as strong as did the African.  It felt familiar, even as a little girl it felt familiar to me.  Over decades I’d forgotten about my attraction and then I rediscovered them, and they were just as powerful and magnetic as ever. 

Leslie has imported items used for body adornment as well as sculptural pieces used ritually.  I have sold several artifacts that I’ve made into necklaces and bracelets, and in the future I will post about some of my interesting finds from Leslie’s backyard.  The kina shell is one of my favorite artifacts. 

 

It is a large pearl shell and is the traditional currency of Papua New Guinea, it is also used as bride’s price.  Such a beautiful yellow iridescence.  I have suspended this very fine kina from soft yellow jade. 

 

The objects they are wearing  tell you that the man and girl above are very wealthy people.

Because kina is a currency, it is worn as a sign of great wealth and it is not unusual to see a wealthy man with his chest covered by layers of them. 

I have a few kina necklaces for sale, each a little different from the others, and each of superior quality. 

 If you are interested in a purchase, feel free to contact me at drpatgay@mac.com.

Here are a few links for you:

http://www.britishmuseum.org/explore/highlights/highlight_objects/aoa/k/kina_shell.aspx

http://www.art-pacific.com/artifacts/nuguinea/bilas/traditional/shells.htm

http://www.beforethey.com/tribe/kalam?photo=3

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