Harold and Mary Cohen : The Papua New Guinea Slide Collection
Object ID:
6.01.0579.HMC
Title:
Haus Tambaran
Place:
Mt. Hagen Village Market, Western Highlands, Papua New Guinea
Description:
Animal jaw bones adorn the bottom edge of the thatched roof overhanging into the entrance. Entrance is an open end of the structure. Trees in background. Tall pointed steeple at the end of the roof at the top.

In the Mt.Hagen village market in the Western Highlands, simple thatched— roof spirit houses contain shelves inside that contain items from dead chieftains and former enemies. Each skull is framed with a box—like structure that is made from curved cane or twigs and bound with cut leaves of the pandanus palm or coconut palm. Jaw bones from various animals hang over the open doorway. The finial on the front end of the structure is shaped like an exaggerated penis that is similar to the finial decoration on spirit houses in the Iatmul villages along the Middle Sepik River in Eastern Papua New Guinea.
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