Harold and Mary Cohen : The Papua New Guinea Slide Collection
Object ID:
Papua New Guinea
A close—up of a Southern Highland Huli man shows him beating a kundu, an hour—glass—shaped wooden drum, and points up details of his face and body paint and body decorations of beads, plants, and bones at his waistband. Huli men and women add grease either of tree oil or pig's fat to enhance the red paint covering their bodies and wear heirloom human hair wigs that are sometimes turned up like a pirate's three—cornered hat and other times turned down, like an umbrella. These are both a mark of manhood and also a home to ancestral ghosts. Each hairpiece is covered with an array of feathers of various birds of paradise. Bright yellow face paint contrasts with the red bodies. Hanging from the back of the neck, each man wears the hornbill bird's beak and boar's teeth. The wide waist band woven from various plant fibers holds up the plant leaves further decorating the body. The iridescent blue wings of the superb (Lophorina superba) bird of paradise and the red—plumed (Count Raggi's) bird of paradise complete his costume. Feathers and headdresses are often kept from one generation to the next.
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