Sinful Sunday: cowries

cowrie, n. 1. the highly polished, usually brightly colored shell of a marine gastropod of the genus Cypraea, as that of C. moneta (money cowrie) used as money in certain parts of Asia and Africa, or that of C. tigris, used for ornament.
1655-65; < Hindi kaurī
The most significant use of the cowrie is as currency among many cultures. For example, it was the first currency of ancient China. (Bonus: they can’t be counterfeited.)
cowries-1
Mild contortions, featuring curves and cowrie cuff, and a cameo by the carpet.

In a number of cultures (though my quick research has been unable to pin down precisely which ones), the cowrie shell is a symbol of womanhood and fertility due to its resemblance to the vulva (i.e. cunt).

cowries-2

The resemblance isn’t perfect. I wonder if the cowrie played any part in generating the rather odd idea of vagina dentata.

The Sinful Sunday theme today is “the letter C“.

badge Sinful Sunday

19 thoughts on “Sinful Sunday: cowries

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