Harold and Mary Cohen : The Papua New Guinea Slide Collection
Object ID:
Haus Tambaran Front Close Up of Spirit Face and Kina
Lower Sepik (southern tributary), Kambaramba Village, Papua New Guinea
Close—up of upper half of the front of the Haus Tambaran, or spirit house. showing the spirit face and kina shells under the top corner of roof.

Seen here is a spirit mask that is painted in traditional colors of yellow—orange, white, blue and black colors, from the available clays and charcoal. A pair of boar's tusks pierces its nose. A necklace of large seeds hangs at the neck with hangings of woven fibers. A very large mouth, with sharp teeth and tongue protruding, is embellished with kina shells of varying sizes. A thatch overhang protects the top of the gable and a smaller one protects the mouth. Some of the spirit houses may be more than 100 feet long and more than 60 feet tall. Their exteriors have to be replaced with the coverings made from stripped plants covering over bamboo or tree trunks.
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