Harold and Mary Cohen : The Papua New Guinea Slide Collection
Object ID:
6.01.0464.HMC
Title:
Children with Discolored Hair and Swollen Abdomens, Deficiencies, Pigs
Place:
Upper Sepik, Manam Island, "Murik Lakes" Region, Papua New Guinea
Description:
Five children stand in a row with swollen bellies and discolored hair indicating deficiencies. Group of pigs behind them as well as a thatched roof house. The children are in the shade indicating trees above them.

Discoloration of the hair and bloated bellies of the children are indicators of various food deficiencies, parasitic worms ingested from eating raw meat and fish, and drinking unsanitary water. The pigs behind the children are a source of prestige as well as a food. Cooking on the open fires maintained by heating stones is typical and can be inadequate. Throughout PNG outdoor grilling is done. The well—maintained thatch house with its wide open without walls is a challenge in preventing diseases such as malaria. More often, the houses on Manam Island, along the Upper Sepik, in the Murik Lakes region have walls and an open door entrance.
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