Cowrie Shell Necklace

Description (Brief):

One (1) cowrie shell necklace with one hundered and eleven (111) cowrie shells

Seashells circulated as a medium of exchange in Asia, Africa, Oceania, and North America. The cowrie shell, in particular, was a form of currency in West Africa during the transatlantic slave trade. West African cultures valued cowrie shells from the Indian Ocean and they became an accepted form of currency in the region. An estimated 344,000 people were captured in Africa and transported directly to mainland North America by 1776 and cowries facilitated these transactions alongside coins, manillas, and other local objects of exchange.

Date Made: n.d.

See more items in: Work and Industry: National Numismatic Collection, Many Voices, One Nation

Exhibition: Many Voices, One Nation

Exhibition Location: National Museum of American History

Credit Line: The Chase Manhattan Bank

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: 1979.1263.00525Accession Number: 1979.1263Catalog Number: 79.112.OC014Collector/Donor Number: OC014

Object Name: alternative currency

Physical Description: shell (overall material)string (overall material)white (overall color)yellow (overall color)holed then strung (overall production method/technique)Measurements: overall: 27 cm x 19 cm x 2 cm; 10 5/8 in x 7 15/32 in x 25/32 in


Record Id: nmah_1066631

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