Santa Cruz Islander. <em>Ornament (Tema)</em>, 19th or early 20th century. Tridacna shell, turtle shell, fiber, 5 1/4 x 5 1/4 x 3/16 in. (13.3 x 13.3 x 0.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Ella C. Woodward Memorial Fund, 40.920. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 40.920_bw.jpg)

Ornament (Tema)

Artist:Santa Cruz Islander

Medium: Tridacna shell, turtle shell, fiber

Geograhical Locations:

Dates:19th or early 20th century

Dimensions: 5 1/4 x 5 1/4 x 3/16 in. (13.3 x 13.3 x 0.5 cm)


Accession Number: 40.920

Image: 40.920_bw.jpg,

Catalogue Description:
A symmetrical design made from tortoise shell is lashed to a circular disk fashioned from Tridacna clamshell. The centered axis of the design terminates in two slender points. Six pairs of triangles are located along the central axis. The sides of the fifth and sixth triangles are extended to create the impression interlocking arcs. From catalogue card: Shell gorget (kapkap) that is a breast ornament, which is a circular white disk tridacna with a cut out tortoise shell carving mounted on it. There is a hole almost in the center of the tridacna plate and one in the tortise shell. This tridacna mount and tortise shell are fastened together with six well twisted brown strings running through the holes up part of the central portion tortoise shell to one edge of the mount and fastened to there. The tortoise shell carving is a conventionalized design consisting of a long central portion with triangles on each side which are extended and have spreading points. Below the hole the tortoise shell carving consists of an inverted triangle, wide and obtuse with points extending from the sides as well as from the base angles.

Brooklyn Museum