Harold and Mary Cohen : The Papua New Guinea Slide Collection
Object ID:
6.01.0537.HMC
Title:
Two Mourning Women, Bilum, Grass Skirts
Place:
Palambei (art village), Middle Sepik, Papua New Guinea
Description:
Two women sit on the ground against the woven wall of a house. They both wear body paint, armbands, and large shells around their necks. Woman on the right has face paint, a feather headdress, and wears a multicolored grass skirt.

A woman without a bridal cap seems to be a mourner because of her widespread use of white clay on her face, arms, and body. She sits beside a mourner to her right whose body, face and hair are heavily splashed with white clay including her pink and white feathered headdress. At her chest hangs a large baler shell, a sign of her wealth for women of Palambei village. Both women wear fresh plants on their armbands. Both wear necklaces with white baler shells. The younger woman also wears a short skirt with dyed river grasses.
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