Currency "Toea"

180 €

Huli-people. Hela, Papua New Guinea, early 20th century.

The Huli (called also Haroli) are indigenous people who live in the Hela province of Papua New Guinea. They speak primarily Huli and Tok Pisin. Though Papua New Guinea is home for over 300 diverse indigenous tribes, with a population numbering over 90,000, the Huli people are one of the largest cultural groups by far (over 250,000 people).

Huli people support themselves through hunting and agriculture. In Huli culture, wealth is counted by how many pigs one person owns. The pig is a common exchange used to pay bride's dowry, death indemnites, and other ritual payments.

This remarkable circular shell pendant discs are called the "toea". Used as currency (other well-known currencies are pigs, cowrieshells and Kina-shell pectorals) and as nose ornament, amulet as well as part of pendant. The Papua New Guinea coins were named after these shell toea-discs.

This unique toea are part of ex-collections of the closed museum/foundation from the Netherlands. Good condition. Age-related wear. Signs of heavy use over many years. Lovely shiny patina. Size approx. 6cm x 6cm.