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Necklace with beads, claw, shells, buttons, and a Haitian coin

Essay/Description

Trade bead necklace. This necklace has a “Phoenix Button” at the bottom, a rare example of the military buttons forged for King Henri Christophe of Haiti in the early 1820s.

The tribes of the Plateau used copper tubes, pendants, shell disks, teeth, and bones for their necklaces. The shell disks and other disk-type beads were popular in necklaces to complement three-strand chokers (Paterek 1994, 213). Trade beads were made and brought from Europe to trade with the Native Americans for gold, furs, and other precious materials. Many beads were made in Italy, often from glass. The Native Americans greatly valued these beads because the beads they made were arduously crafted one at a time and, therefore, were valuable and rare (Dubin 1999, 172).

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Title(s): 
Necklace with beads, claw, shells, buttons, and a Haitian coin
Culture: 
Naive American; Plateau
Date: 
19th century
Period: 
Historic
Place: 
Plateau Region, United States of America
Materials/Techniques: 
glass, bone, metal, cotton string, shell
Dimensions: 
22 in. (55.9 cm)
Classification: 
Object Type: 
Accession No: 
84.166
Department: 
Not On View

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