Harold and Mary Cohen : The Papua New Guinea Slide Collection
Object ID:
6.01.0401.HMC
Title:
Yam House with Bananas
Place:
Trobriand Group, Kumwegeia Village, Papua New Guinea
Description:
Interior color image of a yam house. Two large piles of yams inside atop of a wooden plank platform. A smaller cluster of bananas towards the foreground.

Bananas and yams are stored inside a yam house constructed of tree trunks cut to size and a floor of wood planks. Frequently, the yam houses are more finely constructed than the homes because yams are more than staple food in throughout the Trobriand Islands. Yams are a symbol of prestige and success in gardening. At harvest time, display and rituals are performed. The chief's yam house is always the first to be filled. Competition is fierce between villages for size, form, weight, and beauty of the yam.
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