Harold and Mary Cohen : The Papua New Guinea Slide Collection
Object ID:
Papua New Guinea
This Highland tribesman seems to amalgamate articles and decorations from other tribes. Trade store beads are easily available from visiting traders. The chemical dyes of orange, yellow, green and bright blue that he uses on his tall skinny back staff (dancing shield) do not match the colors red, yellow, white, and blue in his many rows of trade store beads that hang from his neck and cover half of his chest. A second part of his back staff is rounded and unpainted. It is surrounded with white chicken feathers. His headdress is composed of human hair that is protected with thin bark coverings or a net. It is painted and further decorated with orange feathers that have been clipped to the same size. Yellow, orange bright blue and bright Kelly green fabrics, shaped into an oval form top the headdress. Behind him, another group performs.

Behind him, Men are decorated with wide gray—white and orange clay stripes on their bodies, arms and legs. Painting stripes on the body and arms is a popular form of body art in many tribes in Papua New Guinea, as is the camouflaging of the face — whether by paint or masks. These villagers match their headcaps in the gray—white and orange clays. For many cults, the performers are not supposed to be recognized. They perform at ceremonies, including for paybacks, mokas, and spells to cure sickness traditionally. Highlanders form a column, singing and dancing while playing their kundu hour—glass wooden drum that has no covering piece on its end. Leaves hang from their waist bands.
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