Shell ornament (kapkap)



Both men and women in Oceania wear the high-status chest ornaments known generally as ‘kapkap’. People also trade them within and between islands. This type of 'kapkap' from Santa Cruz has a distinctive ladder-like design in turtle shell which extends from the centre of the white shell disk to the top. The motif at the bottom may be a stylised frigate bird; the ones above it, fish such as the bonito. On Santa Cruz, male dancers wore them during important ceremonies and in battle.