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Woman’s Valuable (Tolúk)

Small, shallow trays such as this, as well as turtle-shell spoons, are traditional forms of Belauan women’s wealth, exchanged between families at important occasions such as marriages and births. Tolúk are created by softening turtle shell in hot water and then pressing the shell between the pieces of a two-part mold. Once the three-dimensional form is created, the edges are carved.

Woman’s Valuable (Tolúk)
Late 19th or early 20th century
Turtle shell
L. 8 1/16 in. (20.5 cm)
Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, Gift of Ernst Anspach, 77.68.2