Melanesian Shell Money in Field Museum Collections.

Chicago: Field Museum of Natural History, 1929.

Anthropological Series Volume XIX, No. 1. Octavo, 36, xxv, pages. Illustrated with twenty-five black and white photographic plates. Bibliography. FIRST EDITION. Albert Buell Lewis (1867–1940) led the Joseph N. Field South Pacific Expedition to the colonial territories of Melanesia from 1909 to 1913. Lewis and his team collected and later documented over 14,000 Melanesian objects, which now reside in the Field Museum. He was the first American anthropologist to conduct an extended, systematic field study of Melanesia. A review of this work by Robert H. Lowie notes, "it is interesting to learn that the small islands off the mainland of New Zealand or large islands with little arable land and where consequently women not only have plenty of time for this work [the production of the shell money], but also a need for some article of trade to buy vegetable food represent chief centres of manufacture... The village covers almost the whole of the island, and the inhabitants must obtain their vegetable food from the mainland people. Although constantly at war, there are regular market days when a truce is declared, and the people meet in some neutral spot on the mainland shore, where the women carry on a brisk trade, while the armed men of both sides stand around and carefully watch the proceeding." [The American Anthropologist (n.s. 32, 1930, page 312)]. ~ Original printed wrappers with some edgewear and chipping to the base of the spine. Otherwise very good.

Price: $90.00

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