Yentchen, Middle Sepik, Papua New Guinea
Mary Cohen stands in front of an unfinished haus tambaran (spirit house/men's house) in Yentchen. The stilted area on the ground is partially covered with unfinished layers of hammered tree bark strips or stripped leaves from nearby trees. The walls of the two stories are covered with bamboo. The first story houses the men and items of spirit sculptures, and musical elements of their traditions. The top floor houses the young initiates who are taught the secret ceremonies in preparation for their becoming adults. Each Iatmul village along the Middle Sepik River in the Eastern Province of PNG chooses a decorative weaving pattern for covering the wood or bamboo outside walls. The finial on the rooftop has a tall bare phallus, symbol of force that is given to the musical instruments.