Harold and Mary Cohen : The Papua New Guinea Slide Collection
Object ID:
6.01.0481.HMC
Title:
Christian Church Interior, Paintings #1
Place:
Papua New Guinea
Description:
Painting in white and red on a black background of Mary, Joseph, and baby Christ. Red figure and other designs above and beneath them.

Very dark photo but unique interiors. The paintings on the walls and ceiling of a church on Manam Island on the Upper Sepik River in the Murik Lakes region combine the symbols of Christianity along with those of the villagers' traditional beliefs. Figures of Mother Mary, Father Joseph and the Christ child are outlined in white against a black surface. Each wears a halo and a flowing robe. A hand points to animals of the sea and air and a man and woman. Enigmatic white drawings to the left; a red, yellow and white animal—like painting of a figure in the center; and an abstract painting to the right resemble the carved figures seen in haus tambarans (spirit houses) in villages along the Sepik River.
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Image