Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 40.djvu/56

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46
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

vegetable, and mineral kingdoms have all been laid under tribute for materials. Teeth, claws, shells, pearls, bone, hair, ivory, feathers, beans, seeds, grasses, leaves, fibers of all kinds, crystals, metals — these are but a few of the many substances that man has learned to use, more or less effectively, in self-adornment.

Necklaces are universal. Very simple are the garlands of red and yellow flowers, so popular throughout Polynesia. The whale-tooth necklaces of Samoa and the neighboring islands were really attractive, and were so highly valued that only kings and the most powerful chiefs could afford or dare to wear them. They consisted simply of the natural teeth perforated for stringing. They are now rare and seldom seen. Those at present used in the same district are lighter, more slender and artistic, but are made in England and sent out to the islands for trading. An interesting neck ornament was the palaoa of the Hawaiians. It consisted of a carved and polished piece of bone and ivory attached to an elaborately braided decoration of black hair. This ornament was

PSM V40 D056 Necklace of whale teeth.jpg
Fig. 3. — Necklace of Whale's Teeth. Samoa.

worn only by chiefs of high rank and had some talismanic virtue. Among the necklaces from Australia are those consisting of kangaroo-teeth strung on thread, and the carefully made and really beautiful ones composed of cassowary feathers. Necklaces of trophies of dangerous hunting, analogous to that from Duruthy Cavern already mentioned, are made by Indian hunters from claws of the royal Bengal tiger. From the same materials the skillful goldsmiths of India make marvels of beautiful work. Such a one lies before me. The claws are perfectly cleaned and polished, mounted in gold settings, and strung on a chain of gold; pendent at the lower end is a pretty tiger and a charm, both of gold. Hundreds of years of time and generation of art development lie between the necklaces of Duruthy and Bengal! One of the most instructive lessons in culture history is shown by two South African necklaces described by Wood. The lesson is this; in any art development, as new materials are gained, the