Rare Extinct Shell necklace from Rarotonga, Cook Islands


A beautiful necklace of extinct snail shells from the Cook Islands (Rarotonga). This is what the original collector explained. (Some of her collection is in the British Museum). The label states the name Princess Ni. The shells were collected from around 1900-1960’s. After that there was not enough left to make necklaces from. The big land snails shells disappeared with the introduction of the minor bird around the 1920’s. Island women danced wearing their shells that were passed on from mother to daughter. In the Cook Islands Princess NiNi married a British man. They had no children, so the shells became available. Princess Ni  was a direct descendant of Queen Makea, who lost her island, Rarotonga, to Britain in October 1900. Latin name Partula hylandia.

Measures 190 cm


1 in stock