Harold and Mary Cohen : The Papua New Guinea Slide Collection
Object ID:
Haus Tambaran
Palambei (art village), Middle Sepik, Papua New Guinea
Image of thatched roof spirit house, tall palm trees surround with villagers around. A man carries a palm trunk into the image from the bottom right corner. Shadow from the foliage of a palm tree over spirit house from above.

In the center of Palambei, an art village along the Middle Sepik River, a haus tanbaran is under reconstruction. The skirt that surrounds the bottom of the spirit house is incomplete. Eventually, the dried river grasses will cover the ground area where domestic animals, work tables and tools, and food supplies are kept. The woven covering is made from coconut or sago palm leaves. More layers will be added to protect the area from animal and enemy marauders. A log ladder leads up to the floor where the men congregate and house their sacred many musical instruments (slit and hour—glass drums, flutes, harps) masks, dance costumes and headdresses); spirit masks, and initiation equipment. Covering over the wood slats of the walls will be covered over with woven and intricately patterned leaves of the coconut, banana or sago trees. The finials at each end of the top of the building are incomplete.
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