The Conch Shell – announcing in the Islands

A conch shell on the beach at Monster Mush on the north shore of Oahu, Hawaii.

The Triton shell, also known as ‘Triton’s trumpet’ Charonia tritonis, is used as a trumpet in Melanesian and Polynesian culture.

Conch shell trumpets were historically used throughout the South Pacific, in countries such as Fiji. In resorts in Fiji they still blow the shell as a performance for the tourists. It is still used today to announce the arrival of Chiefs, Royalty and special guests to functions etc.

In the past and sometimes still today we also used the conch shell when a chief dies: the chief’s body would be brought down a special path & the conch would be played until the chief’s body reached the end of the path.


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