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This ornament is made from the brilliant orange shell of the spiny oyster, a bivalve native to the Gulf of California. The use of ocean shells for personal adornment in the high desert areas of the southwest demonstrates the existence of well-developed ancient trade routes. Such routes were not confined to the west, but existed all over the North American continent. Large shells such as this are still decorated, treasured and worn.
depth 1.5 in ; height 4 in ; width 4.5 in