Harold and Mary Cohen : The Papua New Guinea Slide Collection
Object ID:
6.01.0332.HMC
Place:
Papua New Guinea
Description:
Circular group of bare breasted and costumed female dancers. They wear grass skirts, headdresses with tall black feathers at the top, arm bands, with shell and feather necklaces. Black stripes painted on grass below in rows.

Highlands women of an unidentified province perform separately from the men. On their chests, each wears the skin of the full body of a cuscus marsupial or tree kangaroo; the kina shells, a symbol of wealth; dog teeth and necklaces of white nassarius shells that are filed to be the same size. Their heads are adorned with many feathers from various parrots and bower birds with dried grasses or plumes from the Lesser bird of paradise and tall black tail feathers of the Black sicklebill. The woman on the left wears the long blue head feathers of the King of Saxony bird of paradise that are drawn through her nasal septem and attached to the red feathers. She also wears a full body and wings of a Myzomela. The woman on the right adds the iridescent blue "false—wings" on the breast of a Superb bird of paradise. Headbands vary. One woman wears a headband with white nassarius beads with a center design in orange trade store beads. The woman in the center wears a yellow and green snakeskin. The woman on the right is too covered with russet plumes from the tail of a Raggiana bird of paradise, dried straws and red flowers or the viewer to see her upper body decorations. Each woman wears wrist bands made from animal skins that match their breast covers. They paint their faces individually — some with bright red, others yellow. Each wears a skirt of dyed plant strips.
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