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Tribal Shell Bilum Bag from Papua New Guinea's Irian Jaya Tribe Oceania Indonesia

This gorgeous handmade shell bag is called a “bilum”. Bilums come in different sizes and have many uses – from carrying personal belongings, to catching fish and use as medicinal bags. This unique bag is made with woven string and covered on both sides with shells, cassowary feathers, seeds, animal bone and teeth. 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 New Guinea (Indonesian 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 jewelry is still used for a bride price in wedding ceremonies. This historic handmade Oceanic artifact is a representational of modern tribal artistry.


DETAILS

  • Construction Materials: Shells, Bone, Teeth, Feathers, Seeds & Fiber Cord
  • Country of Origin: Irian Jaya, Indonesia
  • Dimensions: 9"H x 8"W - 7" Handle Drop
  • Model Number: WL-Papua-O

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$199.00