Papua New Guinea jewelry

There is a huge variety of Papua New Guinea jewelry from the mainland and surrounding islands. Tribal jewelry were originally made using neolithic tools like sharks teeth and obsidian. The materials were those found in nature such as shells, teeth, bone, bush fiber, feathers, stone, wood and turtle shell. As soon as Pacific Cultures came in contact with Europeans they started to incorporate glass trade beads. Later they incorporated all sorts of other European materials.

The aim of the article is to look at some of the vast variety of New Guinea jewelry. Lots of images to help the reader identify specific pieces of Tribal jewelry. Hopefully, you develop an appreciation for these miniature masterpieces.

I Buy and Sell New Guinea jewelry and if you have a piece you would like to sell please send me an image. If you have a piece of tribal PNG jewelry and just want to know more about it or find out what it is worth feel free to send me an email.

New Guinea jewelry general

With experience, it is possible to identify pieces of New Guinea jewelry and know exactly where it comes from. Many pieces of New Guinea jewelry could only be worn by people of a certain social rank or status. They often signified to others not only your wealth but your position within society.

The value of New Guinea jewelry depends on several factors. Physically attractive pieces are of course more valuable than plain pieces. Rare pieces are more valuable than common pieces.

The condition is extremely important because restoration is often nearly impossible. Island Jewellery tends to be more valuable than mainland New Guinea material.

As it would take a very thick book to cover all the New Guinea jewelry the following images are just some examples.

Great book on New Guinea jewelry is Pacific Jewellery and adornment

Examples of New Guinea jewelry

Papuan Gulf kap kap

Made of a filigree of turtle shell over a bailer shell base

Lumi pectoral Sepik region

Made from eggshell couries, nassa shells and bush fiber

New Ireland Mis terminal necklace

Made of turtle shell, glass beads, shell and dogteeth

PNG Highlands Fofona Back adornment

Made of bush fiber Eggshell cowries and nassa shells

Papuan Gulf Archers wrist guard

Made of Conus shell sections black palm and bush string

Massim Dogadoga chiefs necklace

Made of a circular pigs tooth and spondylus shell segments

Sepik penis Gourd

Made from Carved Dwarf coconut cane and nassa shells

Admiralty Island Wedding Apron

Made of shell currency, seed pods trade beads and bush fiber

Russel island nose piece

Made of Giant Clam shell

Kula Earrings Massim Region

Made from turtle shell and spondylus shell disks

Lower Ramu Dogtooth pectoral

Ramu River Nose Piece

Made of bush fiber nassa shells bone and glass beads

Motu Pectoral Port Moresby area

Sepik Puberty Skirt

Made from Jobstears and shell segments on bush fibre

Sepik Turtle shell Armband

Tanga Island Armband from New Ireland Province

Made from a Giant clam shell

West New Britain Pig Tusk necklace

Made from a matched pair of Circular pig teeth cane and fiber

Lower Sepik kapkap adornment

Made from bailer shell turtle shell filigree and a bush fiber necklace

Headband from Collingwood Bay

New Guinea Jewelry

Due to the sheer volume of material I have other articles that cover this subject. They includee New Guinea adornment Traditional Pacific Island jewelry and Traditional shell jewelry

If you cant find the piece you want to be identified feel free to contact me. Chances are I will be able to help. 

All images in this article are for educational purposes only.

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