Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

Welcome to the Spencer Collection

shell lei (necklace)
  • unknown Kanaka Maoli (Hawaiian) maker
  • shell lei (necklace), late 1800s–1980
  • Where object was made: Niihau, Hawaii, United States
  • ni'ihau shell, shell, string, fiber?
  • Object Length/Width: 37 x 5 cm
    Object Length/Width: 14 9/16 x 1 15/16 in
  • Gift of Fritz W. Forbes
  • Not on display
  • 2007.4008

The four strand necklace is made of small shells. Most of the necklace is small white spiral shells. There are four segments of red and brown shells. The strands are gathered together above and below the colored segments. One cowrie-like shell appears to be stuffed with a cotton-like fiber.