Papua New Guinea Southern Highlands Ceremonial Men's Cassowary Feather and Fibre Headdress

Papua New Guinea Southern Highlands Ceremonial Men's Cassowary Feather and Fibre Headdress

1800 to 1900 Papua New Guinea

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A Papua New Guinea Southern Highlands Ceremonial Men's Cassowary Feather and Fibre Headdress
With an old label inscribed: 'New Guinea Chaplet of Cassowary feathers, the feathers stand up all around the head'
19th Century

Size: 23cm high, 20cm deep – 9 ins high, 8 ins deep
See: Finch and Co catalogue no. 14, item no. 25, for two other examples
Provenance: Ex Bristol Baptist Missionary Museum Exhibition
Lent by M. Talbot Wilson
In Papua New Guinea men of influence were known as 'Big Men'. They had acquired 'mana' and rank throughout their own abilities, and had become powerful and wealthy by being on the alert to all the economic opportunities within their local community. By wearing special ornaments such as this headdress they would demand recognition of their status.
Medium
Feather and fibre
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