Harold and Mary Cohen : The Papua New Guinea Slide Collection
Object ID:
Papua New Guinea
Highlander women of this group cover their bodies with crimped and dyed leaves of the pandanus screw pine plant. The women appreciate all of its uses and take care not to damage the tree roots or take more than they need for the task at hand. Young leaves are cut and sliced into fine strips. Later, weavers can produce basic mats or rope, baskets, clothing, textiles, and housing. Kewra extract is distilled from the flower and used to flavor drink and food. It is also used in medicines. Its fruit is eaten by bats, rats, lizards and crabs. In addition, the women wear the traditional headdress with bird feathers, fur of the cuscus marsupial and tree kangaroo. Woven brow bands are dyed in mostly yellow and red colors. Many layers of glass beads in red, white, blue and yellow necklaces cover each chest and waist. Their only body paint is white clay surrounding their eyes.
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