Pacific Oceanic Art Trobriand Mother Pearl Crocodile Alligator Hand Carving 1A28

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Pacific Oceanic Art Trobriand Mother Pearl Crocodile Alligator Hand Carving


Item 1A28 in our inventory

Hand-carved crocodile

(Seen on pictures 1 to 8 included)

Size: 11" x 2.5"

Splendid example of South Pacific Melanesian art. Great unique original carving with mother of pearl inlays collected direct in the remote Trobriand islands.

Amazingly perfect considering the basic tools used such as pieces of broken shells, rusted nails from shipwrecks found on the beaches, and sea ray, shark skin or an animal horn or tusk rubbed for days against the surface till all is smooth, among other sanding materials, and to produce a sheen on the wood.


In these islands which are rarely visited, outside influence is at a minimum. The extremely skilled carvers inspire themselves from what is around them as they have access to nothing else: the natives, birds, fish, pigs, marine turtles, snakes and whatever they see in their dreams such as dragons or mystical figures.


Very Rare item: Oceanic Art

Melanesia Massim Kula Trobriand hand carved wood

(with inlays of mother of pearl)

Crocodile alligator carving

Sign of power and strength

This is a beautiful completely hand carved hand crafted Melanesian (remote Massim region) piece seen on most of the photos from the isolated Massim region north of papua new Guinea , beautifully carved by a local master carver with rudimentary tools. We show pictures of people and yam houses we took when we go there.


It is very hard to come across such collectibles unless you go there.

Some of these items have very important meanings as they are used as part of the Kula ring trade system that has existed between the islands for centuries.

The Kula ring is a system of exchange involving annual inter-island visits between trading partners who exchange highly valued shell ornaments and other things during year long sea travels.

In his Argonauts of the Western Pacific (1922), Malinowski analyzed the kula ring, the exchange of shell valuables between islands. These ornaments were traded from island to island in a counter-clockwise direction:

A long time ago when the days were longer and the nights shorter lived a hero called Tava who at times took the form of a snake. Tava was kown to pass between the villages that are identified as part of the active kula trade ring . When he was present in a village the people were said to have good fortune and prosper. His location was known only to one woman in each village and she would feed and tend to him. If he felt mistreated or betrayed at any time he would move on to the next island. On his departing the good fortune would also depart with him. He would nevertheless leave each village with a trade.

This trade ranged from a surplus of pigs and yams in the Trobriands to the fine art or pottery found in the Amphletts. Other places became known for obsidian and Betel nut. It is believed that this myth could be one of the origins of the Kula ring and the way it functions. Kula is a ritualized trading culture existing in eastern PNG which the Trobriands are part of. It is essentially a network of villages on islands joined by a common trade route, known as the Kula ring . By analogy, Kula allows you to experience the magic and legends of each island . Kula was and still is a life sustaining cultural exchange.

Kula is the basis of mental and physical well-being. The trade has always been associated with making contact with far off neighbors. Traditionally originally two kinds of items were traded; arm bands carved from the toea shell know as Mwali and spondylus shell necklaces, Soulava. Each of these items was traded individually. Mwali and Soulava traveled in opposite directions around the (group of islands). Mwali passed anticlockwise in the ring and were given with the right hand, the Soulava passed clockwise and was offered with the left hand, first between villages then from island to island.


Such items are collected by the indigenous people of the most primitive areas of Papua New Guinea.These proud people have managed, in the face of continued government and missionary pressure, to maintain a culture of incredible depth and beauty. For the most part, they still live by the same methods as have existed in their remote land for thousands of years.

We go straight to the source to find these treasures


These beautiful art pieces are rare items of the Kula ring. We collected them while in the which are north of , next to . We collected many beautiful pieces while in the Trobriands from carvings (created out of kwila, rosewood and ebony) to costumes, drums and Kula ring exchange items that we will list whenever we have time.


Check Dominique Rice Oceania Store in Sun Sentinel Newspaper, Fort Lauderdale, for information on our collection and authentic art.

All our collector and rare items come with pages and pages of research about provenance, and with history of the tribes and photos as well, depending on item and whenever possible. When shipping internationally, we group ship multiple purchases to save you money, and find the best rates available. If you have any questions or want to see research conducted on this piece and photos of tribes, let us know.

We have artifacts and architectural accents up to 10 ft tall that we will put on upon request because shipping has to be calculated accordingly with trucking company.