Papua New Guinea Fofana Male Shell Front Ornament Benabena Tribe

$400.00

This is a Beautiful Woven Body Ornament known as a Fofona from the Benabena Tribal People of the Eastern Highlands, Papua New Guinea. This Fofona is a plant dyed woven bush fiber with sewn nassa shells and two large cowrie shells by women and given to young men after their initiation, they are also held in the teeth as battle ornaments by the Big Men. Worn on the chest or sometimes the back, the fofona is an essential part of ceremonial decoration. It is also worn in marriage transactions and serves as bride price. What made these items valuable as bride price were the white cowrie shells which were valuable currency which had been traded up from the coast via the barter system, between a number of tribal groups before they finally made there way to the Highlands. This item is woven with handmade string and colored with natural pigments. it is decorated with Nassa shells, and the two large Cowrie shells are sewn on each side. This item would be a wonderful addition to your collection.

Mid-20th Century

COMES ON STAND

Shows aging, but overall it is in good condition. Right shell has been sewn on.

10 Inches Tall
11 Inches Tall on Stand
9.5 Inches Wide Shell to Shell
6 Inches Wide Middle Section
2.5 x 2 Large Shells


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