A fine older 'gam', shell chest ornament from Papa New Guinea
A fine older 'gam', shell chest ornament from Papa New Guinea
A fine older 'gam', shell chest ornament from Papa New Guinea
Sacred And The Profane

A fine older 'gam', shell chest ornament from Papa New Guinea

Regular price $400.00 $0.00 Unit price per
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Item details

Vintage from the 1950s

A fine older 'gam', shell prestige male chest ornament from Papa New Guinea. With hand twisted and knotted fiber, bailer shell, cloth and bead tassels. Measures about 5 by 3 inches - the shell piece - and about 11 inches overall from top of shell to bottom of tassels. These adornments were often pictured worn around the neck, but also could be seen as forehead decorations or as a genital covering. Gam traditionally served as a display of prestige and social status and were used as trade money or currency.

From Mendi Valley PNG, in the Southern Highlands, circa 1960s or earlier.

Rare. Overall good condition with expected wear and soiling from long use.