Harold and Mary Cohen : The Papua New Guinea Slide Collection
Object ID:
6.01.0319.HMC
Place:
Papua New Guinea
Description:
Central figure/ man sits on the ground facing to the left and looks toward camera. He wears plant fiber or grass shirt, grass around his arms and down his back. He also wears a large headdress that is white, red, and black, painted, feathered, and with what appear to be a long horn sticking out from each side of the headdress. A yellow, red, black, and white banded drum lay on the ground in front of him.

A Mt. Hagener of the Western Province wears a traditional composite headdress consisting of 5—separate parts. His own black hair is partially covered a row of white chicken feathers and then by a white cuscus marsupial's skin or that of a tree kangaroo. The headband has two russet red tail feathers from the red bird of paradise stuck on two sharp sticks and flared out to the sides. These are separated by a single cut and polished kina shell, a symbol of wealth and also bride price. A vertical square is made from hammered bark and constructed with either cane or bamboo in order to support the weight of the additional layers of feathers. The shield—like square is painted in russet, black and white. The head of a curved beak bird is attached to the shield. The large white tail feathers of the Sulphur—crested cockatoo are attached to the frame by their quills. His cheeks and small beard are covered with white clay. His forearms have armbands of white—colored twisted plant fibers and then a series of wide white rings of clay. He wears river grasses hanging from his back and as a skirt. His brightly colored kundu hour glass wood drum is beside him.
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