Cassowary Feather Headdress, Abelam, PNG, 1980s - 1990s

Cane, pigment, cassowary feathers
57 x 100 cm

The circular ring fits neatly the crown of the male dancer’s head and the headers is stitched onto his tight wooly hair. The headdress is woven from cane, with an expressive face central, painted in a very bright red colour. The headdress is only a small part of the dancer’s decorations; the face is brightly painted; shell body ornaments of many types are used as necklaces, earrings, nose & mouth pieces etc.

The face is an ancestral spirit, who protects the dancer from any negative spells cast from the enemy, or other jealous sources.

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