Harold and Mary Cohen : The Papua New Guinea Slide Collection
Object ID:
Papua New Guinea
Dancers of the Mt. H agen area Western Highlands Province wait their turn to perform. Multiple layers of their headdresses show individual choices among their many community and cultural symbols. Orange parrot feathers on their headbands are topped with long tail feathers of the black sickle—bill; pink, grey and yellow plumes from various birds of paradise, and the woman with the highly decorated chest of boar's teeth and kina shells also wears the long light blue head plumes of the King of Saxony bird of paradise. Each woman variously covers her chest with kina shells and boar's teeth and paints the face and body with red, yellow and stripes of orange clay in differing amounts and design. Their grass skirts widely differ. The third woman from the left paints her arms and legs with white clay. Kina shells of the Gold lip shell were used as traditional payment and medium of exchange in Papua New Guinea and an essential part of the bride price. Modern currency is called "Kina."
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