Harold and Mary Cohen : The Papua New Guinea Slide Collection
Object ID:
Papua New Guinea
Western Highlander women of the Melpa (also spelled Medlpa) tribe from the village of Kindau are adorned for the traditional "payback" feast. Their faces are painted bright red with striations of white clay painted with bright blue dots. As with most highlanders groups, their headdresses are 5—tiered with brow bands of snake skin or variously woven dyed strips of plants. Additional head bands are of the cuscus, a marsupial similar to the opossum, the tree kangaroo, or flying fox. Many layers of necklaces of glass beads, large colorful cowrie shells, and large kina shells with the bright red backing, cover the woman from the chin to the waist. Each wears a grass skirt covering her body from her waist to her feet.
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