B & W negative

Registration number
Item name
B & W negative 
Indigenous name
Mr Des Bartlett  
Associated cultural group
Pacific > Papua New Guinea > Western Highlands Province > Hagen District > Mt Hagen
Mr Des Bartlett 
Acquisition date
January 01, 1954 
Acquisition method
Purchased from Mr Des Bartlett 
H: W: 35 mm L: 35 mm D: Circum:


Research notes

"[This] Mount Hagen lad keeps his hair protected with a cloth made of beaten bark, and this is tied on securely with string. He is playing a small musical instrument made from a short length of bamoo with a string attached to one end. The other end, which is held in the mouth, is split. The soft plaintive sound from this instrument is similar to that made with a Jew's Harp, but there is not nearly the same volume. The Twanging effect is obtained by pulling suddenly on the string, and movement of the lips varies the sound. These instruments are used for the musicians own personal enjoyment, and often a native will sit playing for hours" (Bartlett 1953).

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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