Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

Welcome to the Spencer Collection

shell lei (necklace)
  • Kanaka Maoli (Hawaiian) peoples
  • shell lei (necklace), late 1800s–1980
  • Where object was made: Niihau, Hawaii, United States
  • ni'ihau shell, shell, string, fiber?
  • Object Length: 36 cm
    Object Length: 14 1/8 in
  • Gift of Fritz W. Forbes
  • Not on display
  • 2007.4009

The four strand necklace is made of small white spiral shells. One large cowrie-like shell joins the strands together. It appears to be stuffed with a cotton-like fiber.