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Papua New Guinea, East Sepik Province, Abelam People, Pal Yua Clam Shell Ring

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Papua New Guinea, East Sepik Province, Abelam People, Pal Yua Clam Shell Ring (obverse) Papua New Guinea, East Sepik Province, Abelam People, Pal Yua Clam Shell Ring (reverse)

"Yua" means "clam shell ring" in the language of the Abelam people in the northeast of New Guinea, and "pal" is their name for the hornbill. This bird features a notched casque on the top of its large bill the model for the notches on the outer rim of this clam shell ring. The hornbill plays an important part in the mythology of the Abelam. The Abelam measure their wealth in such rings and use them for bride price. The price of a wife varies from one to six rings depending on her rank. For killing a man the price is 20 rings, less for a woman or a child.

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