Harold and Mary Cohen : The Papua New Guinea Slide Collection
Object ID:
6.01.0501.HMC
Title:
Haus Tambaran (spirit house) Close—Up of Rooftop Figures
Place:
Lower Sepik (southern tributary), Kambaramba Village, Papua New Guinea
Description:
Image of the roof of the spirit house or, Haus Tambaran. Figures along the top rim of the roof peak. Tip of peak has phallic point at the end. Blue sky with large white cloud, tree tops including palms.

A close—up of the roof top figures and finial on a haus tambaran (spirit house) in Kambaramba Village on the Lower Sepik River shows the variety of fetishes in that community. All communities along the Sepik River have a spirit house that serves as a men's clubhouse and museum for sacred objects used in the rites of the all—male secret society which dominates village life. Items stored include tumbans, dance costumes worn at village festivals in the Middle Sepik; religious musical instruments (flutes, garamut and kundu drums, mouth harps), speaking—chairs, spirit and ancestor figures.
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Image