Plumes and Pearlshells
Art of the New Guinea Highlands
- PUBLISHED: August 2015
- SUBJECT LISTING: Art History / Australian and Oceanic Art
- BIBLIOGRAPHIC INFORMATION: 172 Pages, 9.5 x 12 in, 174 illus.
- ISBN: 9781741741056
Spectacular exchange ceremonies involving hundreds of dancers festooned with elaborate body adornments – including highly prized bird of paradise plumes and the revered kina, or pearlshell – is something for which the peoples of the New Guinea highlands are renowned.
Appreciating the sophistication and sheer beauty of these adornments, Stanley Gordon Moriarty assembled one of the finest collections including exquisitely constructed headdresses, arm- and leg-bands, ear- and nose-rings and necklaces, made of feathers, shell, bark cloth, animal and plant fibres and natural pigments.
This book presents highlights from this extraordinary collection, now held by the Gallery, as well as other superb pieces used in rituals, war and daily life such as rare gourd masks, painted shields, carved spears, woven and carved figures, textiles and dance masks.
Authors & Contributors
Natalie Wilson is a curator at the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Florence Kamel is a bilum artist and manading director and principal designer of Jaukae Bilum Products. Michael Mel is associate professor and pro vice chancellor at the University of Goroka. Other contributors: Dr. Polly Wiessner, professor of anthropology, University of Utah; Akii Tuma, director of the Take Anda Cultural Centre, PNG; Chris Boylan, director of Oceanic art, Sydney; Dr. Barry Craig, senior curator of world cultures, South Australia Museum, Adelaide; Trevor Shearston, Australian author who has lived in and written books about PNG; Kerry Head, conservator at Art Gallery of New South Wales.
The catalogue is an articulate, informative, and enjoyable celebration of Papua New Guinean Highland art, the artists, the passion of Stanley Moriarty, and the commitment of the Gallery of New South Wales.- Katharine W. Fernstrom, Pacific Arts