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photograph of current display in the Grand Vestibule

A display highlighting the interaction between the monarchy and the wider world

Solomon Islands

Dala c.1982

RCIN 92175

Grand Vestibule, Windsor Castle

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A forehead ornament (dala) is worn by a Solomon Islands chief at feasts and gatherings. Production is painstaking and time-consuming: a section of clam shell is carefully ground to form a flat disc and over it is placed a thin piece of turtle shell, intricately carved with a radiating lace-like design. The white clam shell, polished almost to resemble marble, contrasts dramatically with the dark filigree overlay. Attached to this dala is a necklace is made of shell money called kasa. The dala was prepared by Jack Saemala of Langalanga Lagoon.

It was presented to Queen Elizabeth II during her visit to the Solomon Islands in October 1982.