Harold and Mary Cohen : The Papua New Guinea Slide Collection
Object ID:
6.01.0421.HMC
Title:
Bowl maker and Huge Bowl
Place:
Siassi Group, Malai Island, Papua New Guinea
Description:
From the left stand two boys in white, a third in a brown wrap around his lower half from waist, a figure in blue with another young person standing behind a seated man with beard, wearing a white shirt, black rolled cuff pants and sitting on a green milk crate. They are within a wooden structure. A large carved wooden bowl sits on the floor at the bearded man's feet. The man looks to his right and hold a carving instrument in his hands.

On Malai, one of the small islands of the Siassi Group that are near the Vitiaz Strait, a man carves a wooden bowl as the children look on. One of its many uses among the islanders is for soaking sago, a staple food that comes from the pith (saksak) sago palm tree. The bark is stripped, soaked in water and beaten to remove the bitter taste. The pithy bark turns into white flour that is cooked with vegetables or made into porridge.
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