These tortoise shell armlets came from Mandok communities on Siassi Island of New Guinea. The Mandock imported tortoise shells and finished armlets and also re-exported them to other communities in the trading network. This is an example of the many agricultural products and crafted goods that circulated widely among New Guinea communities. Anthropologists Marshall Sahlins and Thomas Harding acquired these bands in the early 1960s, while doing research on trading relations and political competition among agriculturalist and maritime trading societies. These bands are part of a collection of more than 100 objects that Sahlins and Harding acquired during their New Guinea fieldwork with National Science Foundation support.
In honor of the University of Michigan’s 2017 bicentennial, we are celebrating the remarkable archaeological and ethnographic collections and rich legacy of research and teaching at the Museum of Anthropological Archaeology by posting one entry a day for 200 days. The entries will highlight objects from the collections, museum personalities, and UMMAA expeditions. The Kelsey Museum of Archaeology is also posting each day for 200 days on Twitter and Facebook (follow along at #KMA200). After the last post, an exhibition on two centuries of archaeology at U-M opens at the Kelsey. Visit the exhibit—a joint project of the UMMAA and the Kelsey—from October 18, 2017 to May 27, 2018.