Chest ornament

This ornament is called tema and is characteristic of Santa Cruz. Made from the shell of the giant clam (Tridacna gigas) . This piece lacks an overlay of delicate turtle-shell (Eretmochelys imbricata). As a symbol of high status this was worn by senior men as a chest pendant. Likely acquired by John Gould Veitch on the HMS Curacoa in 1865.

Object Summary

Museum Number E1912
Simple Name ornament
Full Name tema pendant
Common Name chest ornament
Production country Solomon Islands
Material twisted fibre; shell; tridacna shell
Collection class Personal ornament
Collection continent Pacific
Collection area/region MELAN
Production county Santa Cruz Islands
Production continent Oceania
Production date 19th century
Production year high 1880