Haus Tambaran interior, Alligator Mask with Fringes
Lower Sepik (southern tributary), Kambaramba Village, Papua New Guinea
Inside a haus tambaran (spirit house) in Kambaramba Village on the Lower Sepik River, a 10—foot sculpture of a crocodile hangs from the ceiling. Two men carry the heavy form when they dance at particular ceremonies. Crocodiles are both a threat to the villagers because of their attacks to eat them and also a spiritual image for those villagers who believe that they originate from crocodiles. Some villagers carve male initiates' flesh into crocodile—like scales. Spirit masks can be seen on a table.