A single strand shell necklace, strung with beige coloured brown rice shells, conical opalescent green maireener (rainbow kelp) shells and black cat's teeth shells. The shells are strung in a regular pattern where pairs of green maireener shells are spaced evenly along the necklace, bordered on each side by a pair of black cat's teeth shells.
Dulcie Greeno collection no. 1
Dating back at least 2,600 years, necklace-making is one of the few Palawa traditions that has remained intact and has continued without interruption since before European settlement. Maireener necklaces were made as an adornment for ceremonies, as gifts, and as objects to be traded with other sea and land peoples for ochre and stone tools. After European settlement, they were also sold or exchanged for food, clothing and other supplies. Settlement influenced necklace-making itself, as the new tools and materials the women adapted into their practice also enabled the inclusion of new shells into their designs.
The connection of maireeners with the distinct culture and story of the Palawa people and with the Tasmanian natural environment have conferred them iconic status in the wider Tasmanian and Australian community. As objects and a practice the necklaces in this collection represent a rich expression of contemporary Palawa women's identity, heritage and creativity, and both the maintenance and ongoing development of cultural traditions.