Muriel MAYNARD, Shell necklace Enlarge 1 /1
Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art
19th Century Objects gallery See nearby items

On display on Level 1


Tasmanian Aboriginal people

Australia 1930 – 2008

Shell necklace 2002 Description: rye, toothy shells
Place made: Launceston, Tasmania, Australia
Materials & Technique: jewellery, rye and toothy shells on cotton thread

Dimensions: circumference 193.0 h cm
Acknowledgement: Purchased 2002
Accession No: NGA 2002.334

 ‘To get the maireeners we wait for a spring tide and we have to walk into the water up to our waist or knees and pull the maireener shells off (the seaweed). It’s the same as the little rice [rye] shells, they live in the dry seaweed. We fill our buckets up with seaweed then we go and wash the seaweed out and these shells fall in the bottom of the bucket. The toothies we have to pick up one at a time too. So it takes a long time to make one of these necklaces.’

(Muriel Maynard, 2002, from Australian Museums and Galleries Online website ‘Aboriginal shell necklaces’ feature)

Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra