shell money

Cowrie shells sewn into long straps of plaited fibre. The back of each cowrie has been removed. Until recently those were known in pre-contact days but the practice of using cowries as currency was increased by European importation.

Also used as a decoration for young woman.

Collection Information

These objects are only a part of our collections, of which there are more than 350,000 objects. This information comes from our collections database. Some of this is incomplete and there may be errors. This part of the website is also still under construction, so there may be some fields repeated or incorrectly formatted information.

The database sometimes uses language taken from historical documents to help research, which may now appear outdated and even offensive. The database also includes information on objects that are considered secret or sacred by some communities.

If you have any further information about objects in our collections or can suggest corrections to our information, please contact us: enquiry@horniman.ac.uk