Project team

photo: Museums of World Cultures

Christine Hansen

Principal Investigator

Dr Christine Hansen is a Collections and Research Manager at the Queen Victoria Museum & Art Gallery in Launceston (Tasmania). Christine holds a PhD in history from the Australian National University. She was the coordinator of the Network for Environmental Humanities at Gothenburg University. She has previously worked as a curator in Australia and Sweden.

photo: Museums of World Cultures

Aoife O’Brien

Dr Aoife O’Brien is the Oceania curator for National Museums of World Culture in Sweden. She is responsible for the collections in Etnografiska museet in Stockholm (where she is based) as well as those in the Varldskulturmuseerna in Gothenburg. Aoife O’Brien received her Ph.D. in Anthropology/Art History from the Sainsbury Research Unit for the Arts of Africa, Oceania and the Americas at the University of East Anglia in England in 2011. Her doctoral research focused on material culture from the Solomon Islands in the early colonial period.

photo: Museums of World Cultures

Belinda Cotton

With over 30 years industry experience in the Australian museum and gallery sector, Belinda Cotton has launched herself as a freelance consultant who is committed to working with artists, creative and cultural practitioners, not-for-profit organisations, museum and art galleries – private and public. She underpins her work with the belief that creativity and cultural practice can be powerful agents of change.


A necklace probably made of marinas (Phasianotrochus irisodontes), highly lustrous conical kelp shells of blue opalescent colouring. They are threaded onto cotton thread. The marinas or maireeners are collected from ribbon and bubble kelp at a few locations on the east and north coast of Lutruwita (Tasmania) and the Bass Strait islands. 

The shell necklace entered the collection of the museum in 1905. It was a gift from Hjalmar Segerlind (1855-1925). Segerlind, a police detective at Port Adelaide, was born in Sweden and emigrated to Australia in 1879. It is not known how he acquired the necklace.

Shell stringing has been at the heart of a continuing cultural knowledge for Tasmanian Aboriginal (Palawa) women for countless generations. Sea shells used for necklace making, once plentiful, are now scarce. Areas where they occur need protecting and respect. 

Since the necklace came to Sweden, it has never been researched or exhibited.

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