Harold and Mary Cohen : The Papua New Guinea Slide Collection
Object ID:
Papua New Guinea
Like the Mendi women of Southern Highlands, the men wear plumes from the hind feathers of the cassowary bird. The men's facial painting varies individually. The front man in this photo has the traditional red for fertility and the bright yellow (probably turmeric) dividing his eyes from his black—charcoaled cheeks and neck. Black symbolizes bravery and virility. The beards and lower faces of the men are covered with white chalk or clay. Headbands vary. The man in front wears a hand—woven headband topped with green foliage. His feather plumes of the cassowary bird are shaped, unlike other men and women who leave their plumes natural. Men's legs are painted with white clay. Each tucks plants into his waistband.
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