DETAIL: Mary MARABAMBA Fish trap No 27 #3017-01 2001 jungle vine, bush string Purchased 2002
 
Artist UNKNOWN | Shell necklace

 
UNKNOWN, Artist
Australia  
Shell necklace
AM 243/02 c.1920
Decorative Art
Jewellery
mauve maireener shells, thread
circumference 100.0 (h) cm
Purchased 2003
NGA 2003.17
VIEW: Article | PROVENANCE |

Three of these historic works comprise solely maireener shells, in different sizes and colours, the most pure form of the tradition of Tasmanian Aboriginal shell necklace-making. The fourth historic work is distinctive for its omission of maireeners and the use of numerous delicate rye shells punctuated by black crow shells.

A late 19th-century photograph of renowned Tasmanian Aboriginal woman Trugannini — popularly and racially defined as ‘the last full-blood Tasmanian Aborigine’ — portrays her anguished yet dignified face, a maireener shell necklace wound round and round her neck.

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