Harold and Mary Cohen : The Papua New Guinea Slide Collection
Object ID:
6.01.0336.HMC
Place:
Papua New Guinea
Description:
A man sits between two wooden shields that say, Goroka Show Tabe Tamberan, on a patch of dirt on the ground. Dancers in costume seen behind him in the distance.

"Tabe Tambaran" is written on the large boards in Tok Pisin, meaning "Spirit Religion." Tambaran means "spirit." "Tabe" has multiple meanings in reference to "belief." The person sitting between the boards that are painted with natural clay colors comes to the Goroka Festival possibly from the southwestern section of the country along the Ilam River, a tributary of the Sepik. His legs are painted with black charcoal. His arms have some dusting of yellow, possibly from the turmeric plant powder that is known to ward off insects. He wears a head cap made of coir, a stiff coarse fiber from the outer husk of coconut, and flowers hanging over his ears. Otherwise, he is covered only with a small apron.
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