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Auction Location:
Lot No.
A collection of ancient glass earrings, Geelvink Bay area, West Papua; these glass earrings were collected on the Waropen Coast along the north Coast of West New Guinea, traditionally called 'Dimbo' in the local Warpoen language, they were an important type of traditional wealth used for bride price payments, other types of compensation payments and for goods, especially bird of paradise skins that Malay traders came to obtain by trading glass and metal objects. It is thought that this trade went over 2000 - 3000 years, in an archaeological dig in lake Sentani they found 'Dong song' bronze age axe heads, kettle drums and ancient glass ornaments. Some of these glass earrings are of great antiquity and are certainly based on the glass tear drop shaped ornaments from the 'Dong song ' bronze age culture of Vietnam (1000 BC to 1 BC). In the late 19th century people from Eastern Indonesia, brought forge and bellows technology to this area of New Guinea, this gave them a rudimentary metal working technique and also glass melting technology, which allowed them to make their own glass earrings from old bottles that were also highly valued trade items. References for further reading: Plumes from paradiseby Dr Pamela Swaddling 1996 3 - 6.5 cm (35)
Tribal: New Guinean