I took these photos at the Frank Hurley Exhibition at the Australian Museum in Sydney (If you are in Sydney check it out). The exhibition are works taken by Frank Hurley in Papua back in the 1920's....Man I dig this guy's work...He captured something very moving in all of his subjects...
Mourning and death seem to be hanging round me over the last few days...the photo below named Gogodala Widow was taken in 1922 at the Totani Village, Aramia River, Western Province.
This widow wears a veil over her head and holds a large fish trap. Gogodala mourning ceremonies began with a feast for the deceased person and relatives putting on special mourning costumes, which they wore all the time while carrying out their daily tasks. They only removed the costumes after an elaborate second feast, usually about one year later. The mourning costumes were then burnt.
Man of Wamira Village, Milne Bay Province - May 1921
Woman wearing shell wealth items, Kaimare Village, Gulf Province - October 1922
Man in Mourning, Kaimare Village, Gulf Province - October 1922
This Kaimare man has covered his skin with clay and wears woven string bands across his chest as a sign of mourning.
Motu girl of Elevala Village, Port Moresby - 1921
The girl wears a Toea shell ring and woven band on each arm, with a shell crescent and strands of dogs' teeth around her neck.