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Pubic Ornament - Phallocrypt

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Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery

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Basic Information

Accession Number:1953A785
Collection:Ethnography - Oceania
Date:1875 - 1925


This pearl-shell ornament would have been worn round a man's waist hung from a human hair belt.Before European contact in the eighteenth century most Australian Aborigines wore very little in daily life, except in the colder south. These shells would have worn as part of their complex ceremonial activities. The designs are engraved and filled with red ochre. Many styles represent mythological themes, totem animal tracks or human figures.

Transferred from the Wellcome Historical Medical Museum.

Further Information

Production Period:19th century or 20th century
Material(s):Mother of pearl
Place of Origin:North-west coast, Australia


Height:182 mm
Width:128 mm