Object: Shell Necklace
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|Credit line||Gift of Anton Coppens, 2009|
Necklaces are an essential part of Pacific cultures, they are often used as part of dance costumes, given as gifts or worn for special occasions. This hei (necklace) is part of a small collection of hei which were gifted to Mary Coppens and her son Anton who unexpectedly stayed in Tahiti en route to Europe in early 1966. Nine year old Anton underwent an operation for peritonitis at the Clinique Cardella. An English speaking Tahitian who was in the original film "Mutiny on the Bounty" (1935) - along with her friends and the nursing staff at the Clinique - presented the shell necklaces to Mary and Anton when after a fortnight's stay, they departed for New Zealand. The necklace was donated to the museum by Anton Coppens.
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