Original Author: Virtual Curation Lab
Created: 2017

Cowrie Shell

This is the shell of a cowrie, a marine snail native to the east coast of Africa and regions in the Pacific, which was unearthed during archaeological excavations of a slave quarter at George Mason's Gunston Hall in Fairfax County. Cowrie shells like these were often used by Africans for personal adornment, religious ceremonies, or currency.