19th century, Naga, NE India
These shells were cut from the center of South Indian Ocean chank shells (Turbinella pyrum), which are very similar to conch shells, just another closely related species. That shell cutting industry in South India has not been active for more than one hundred and fifty years. In some cases, the shells were actually drilled and made into wearable beads by Angami Nagas, who would have traded for them via Assam, India. Each is different but all come from the same species of mollusk.
This gorgeous shell has so much soul: the depth, color and patina are delicious. The leather too has a magical feel. It is a creamy opalescent color superbly hand stitched in our Marrakech studio.
One of a kind
Shell: 5 1/16 x 3/4″
Necklace length: 33″