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This beautiful necklace comes from Papua New Guinea and is handmade by local artisans with Cowrie shells that have been embroidered onto a crochet base made out of natural fibre.
In Papua this type of necklace is used during ceremonies and is custom-made for each person. Its round outside shape symbolizes the universe, while the circular hole in the center is a symbol of the opening to eternal life. It is believed to bring the wearer a happy life and protection.
On Papua shells represent prosperity and are often used during wedding ceremonies, believed to bring emotional and financial wealth. Here shell necklaces have been worn by local tribes since ancient times, to enhance the body as well as marking status and achievements. With the shell’s strong mythological importance they were considered to be the links between the human and the spiritual world, bringing fertility and well-being.
In the past, shells travelled on long pathways through the Asian Pacific, used as exchange items or currency and for creating ties and relationships between people.