Harold and Mary Cohen : The Papua New Guinea Slide Collection
Object ID:
Aromot Island, Papua New Guinea
Villagers of Aromot Island, one of the Siassi group in Morobe State, in the Bismarck Sea, prepare their costuming and musical instruments for the sing sing to welcome its few visitors. Bodies are striped variously with white and orange clay stripes for their arms and legs. Others use white clay and black charcoal only. Their bodies are made shiny with tree oil or pig's grease. Ceremonial garb is scant: short skirts worn on the front are created from sea grasses; a few attach feathers to their headbands; most wear many necklaces of seashells and fruit seeds. A musician carries a large wood stick to strike the community's garamut drum. The large log drum (also called a slit gong) is hollowed—out from a large log with a long slit running lengthwise along the one side. The log is kept in horizontal position with the slit in the top side, like the opening in a piggy bank. The garamut is pounded with a wooden club, resounding with a deep—toned booming signal that can be heard in great distance. They range from four to ten feet in length. Usually, they are elaborately carved with faces of ancestors, crocodiles, birds, scenes of warfare or village life.
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