Harold and Mary Cohen : The Papua New Guinea Slide Collection
Object ID:
6.01.0131.HMC
Place:
Papua New Guinea
Description:
Mudmen of Asaro village in the Watabung area of the Eastern Highlands Province hide their identity behind very large individualized masks made from the grey mud from the Asaro River. Their bodies are completely covered with the grey clay, making them look fierce before heading off on their inevitable payback raid. Thus, when the opponents see the ghostly apparitions wielding spears, they run away. The Asaro standing in front is wearing his mask and covers most of his body with mud with colored mosses to further hide his human characteristics. Large helmets are molded over a cane and bark cloth framework. They carry large spears. They are naked except for a small bikini—like cloth with various plant leaves hanging.
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