Aboriginal Riji pearl shell adornment
Transitional Riji Aboriginal Pearl Shell Pubic Cover from the kimberley
Object type: Aboriginal pearl Shell pubic cover
Locality: Kimberley WA
Height: 20 cm
This early transitional Riji pearl shell can be seen two different ways. I see it as a very early and superb example of early Kimberley art. It is not an artifact and was modified for sale. The figure in the middle is wearing a sacred Waninga headdress only used by initiates but wearing a European shirt. I think these very early transitional pieces showing a mix of old and new are becoming recognized as increasingly important in the history of aboriginal art.
Initiates from the Kimberley wearing Waninga headdresses