B & W negative

Registration number
31892
Item name
B & W negative 
Category
Photograph
 
Indigenous name
 
Maker
Mr Des Bartlett  
Associated cultural group
 
Place
Pacific > Papua New Guinea > East Sepik Province > Wosera Gaui District > Iatmul group
Map
Collector
Mr Des Bartlett 
Acquisition date
January 01, 1954 
Acquisition method
Purchased from Mr Des Bartlett 
Dimensions
H: W: L: D: Circum:

Description

Black and white photograph of a woman showing artistic scarring on her breasts.

Research notes

"Girls in most countries get strange ideas of how to increase their beauty, and on the Sepik this required self inflicted pain to produce the desired result. A stick is dipped into lime and screwed around on the breast until the skin surface is broken. The lime causes a sore, but when this heals a white scar remains in the desired patterns" [Bartlett 1953: Album]. See also 34429 [catalogue card note].

Part of a series of copies of 330 photos in the range 31891 to 34881 taken by Bartlett on a 1953 trip to the Sepik River with Armand and Michaela Dennis who were making the film 'Among the Headhunters' which was released by Arthur J Rank. The photos include an initiation ceremony held at Yanchan Village on the main river. The photos come from an album of the trip made by Bartlett, a copy of which given to the museum in 1983 along with other photos which were copied at that time.

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