Harold and Mary Cohen : The Papua New Guinea Slide Collection
Object ID:
Papua New Guinea
Unggai people of the Eastern Highlands paint themselves in characteristic patterns with colored orange and light blue clays dug from the earth. Painted stripes on the body and arms is popular in many tribes in Papua New Guinea, as is the camouflaging of the face — whether by paint or masks. For many clans, the performers are not to be recognized. The dancers perform at ceremonies, as well as for sing—sings, paybacks, mokas, and spells to cure sickness traditionally. The men paint their faces with the matching clays of blue—gray and red, yellow or orange. Sometimes, as in this group, the dancers wear cloth caps with matching colors and topped with various bird wings and/or feathers. Their waistbands are made of twisted fibers from which green leaves hang, covering the buttocks. They are naked except for the leaves and decorated caps.
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