Harold and Mary Cohen : The Papua New Guinea Slide Collection
Object ID:
6.01.0509.HMC
Title:
Mary D. Cohen Walking Across Bridge with Scarification Sculpture
Place:
Palambei (art village), Middle Sepik, Papua New Guinea
Description:
Mary Cohen walks across a wooden pole bridge that has wooden supports and hand rails. Green foliage below.

Mary Cohen walks across the log bridge leading into the art village of Palambei that is about a twenty—minute walk from the Middle Sepik River to reach the houses and haus tambaran (spirit house). The spirit house is placed in the center of most villages with a space cleared in front for ceremonies and various clan gatherings. Although women of the village are not permitted inside the spirit house, all tourists are admitted. They can sell to visitors but their own women are believed to cause destruction to the men and the young initiates living there. While living in the haus, the young men are purified and participate in secret rituals that are taught to them by their mothers' brothers.
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