Harold and Mary Cohen : The Papua New Guinea Slide Collection
Object ID:
Space Between Homes, Foliage Used for Costumes
Palambei (art village), Middle Sepik, Papua New Guinea
Group of three thatched roof, woven fibre exterior houses. Dirt pathway in center of image with tropical foliage. Wooden ladder in the center leading up into middle house.

Three stilt houses are close together in Palambei. They are typical of the Middle Sepik River communities where the river rises in the rainy season more than 4 feet. Houses can be washed away and often are. Materials for building and covering them are readily available: logs and trunks from the sago, banana and coconut palm trees; bamboos and river grasses. Underneath the house, storage materials and work tables and equipment are kept, along with the domestic animals. Thatch roofs are tied down with ropes made from various plant rachises or woven leaves. Flowers grow easily and abundantly and are used in their ceremonial costumes.
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