This a very Beautiful and Unique Tolai Nassa Shell Money Wheel Adorned with Feathers that comes from the Tolai People of Gazelle Peninsula of East New Britain / Duke of York Islands and Southern New Ireland in New Guinea. Tolai Shell Money or Tabu as it is called in Tolai language is a unique form of Tribal Art made from traditional nassa shells. Tolia Shell Money is made into large wheels know as a GoGo if it belongs to a person. The average size of a GoGo is used for bride price. The largest size shell money wheel is called a Tutana and is distributed when a chief dies. All Tolai accumulate shell money so that during their funeral ceremony their shell money wheel can be cut and distributed to all that attend. It is a two-way system though with the people who go to the funeral contributing shell money to show their sorrow for the family and then receiving shell money as a show of gratitude for attending the funeral. The shells are drilled and then strung on cane. The actual distance apart depends on finger size but when holding one shell and sliding it onto the cane as soon as your fingers touch the next shell it is at its correct spacing. Although other people in New Guinea have shell money they are of different forms and this unique currency is by far the largest.
This would be a wonderful addition to your collection or home.
COMES ON A STAND
This Tolai Money Wheel shows age, some discoloration, but in good condition. Museum Quality
34" tall on Stand
1 3/4" deep
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