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Preparing a dancer for his performance of a curing dance for a sick member of the community

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CollectionsDavid Eastburn
Title: Preparing a dancer for his performance of a curing dance for a sick member of the community
Author(s): Photographer: David R. Eastburn, 1949-
Description: This photograph was taken at the Bulong longhouse, 142. 19 E. 5. 49 S. Universal grid reference 54M XU454573 (1: 100 000 Karoma map sheet 7386). Photographer's note: The most important and time-consuming part of the preparation is the painting of an elaborate design on the dancers’ body. This is carried out at night by the light of resin and bamboo torches. Soot is first rubbed over the dancers’ shoulders, chest and legs. A mask of oiled soot is also applied to his face. Pandanus-nut brushes are used to apply the red ochre designs which are then outlined with yellow ochre using the edge of a feather. After several hours, and often several starts, the chest, upper back and legs of the dancer are covered with a complex design of red, black and yellow. The remainder of his body is then painted with red ochre.
Other Identifiers: ANUA 717-62


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