The Gorgeous (And Pricey!) Shell Jewelry From Hawaii's 'Forbidden Island'

November 24, 2014 12:00 PM

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The Hawaiian island of Ni'ihau is often called "The Forbidden Island." It sounds like something straight out of "Pirates of the Caribbean," but instead of cursed gold dubloons, Ni'ihau is home to another kind of treasure: shells.

Unlike the other Hawaiian islands where flower lei are the norm, Ni'ihau focuses on shell lei because of its dry, arid climate. The practice has evolved over the centuries into a fine art and is now so valuable -- both culturally and economically -- to the people of Ni'ihau that the craft is protect...

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