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Postcards From the Trobriand Islands

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POSTCARDS FROM 
THE TROBRIAND ISLANDS

The following images from the Trobriand Islands were taken during the period 1914 to 1918 and represent a rare and unique opportunity to view the lifestyle of the people of these remote and fascinating islands at this time.

Decorated women from the Trobriand Islands.

Location Map of the Trobriand Islands.

Women with carrying pads resting at the wayside
 with their loads off, the pads remaining in position.
The central figure wears a mourning relic over her shoulder.

A decorated bachelor's house.

The interior of a typical Trobriand house has two bunks across
 the back wall. Besides a Chinese trunk and a piece of calico,
there are water bottles, folded mats and a basket on the lower bunk.

Local women making skirts. Pandanus leaves are
being made tough and supple by heating them before a fire.

A group of adolescent Trobriand Islands girls.

A girl scraping and fraying banana leaves for a grass skirt.

A crowd collected on the beach to admire a large catch.

Accumulation of food for a feast. Yams are heaped up on the ground
and fill the pwata'i (prism-shaped wooden receptacle): coconuts, sugar cane and
bunches of areca nuts are displayed on top - the whole producing on the natives a strong
 impression of beauty, power and importance.

Village scene, Trobriand Islands.

A family on the road. The woman is carrying large yams in a basket, and
the child in a characteristic position on her hip; the man has an adze on his shoulder.

Boys in the yams garden.

Distribution of skirts in mortuary ritual.

The body of a young and beautiful woman carried off by sudden death and
sincerely mourned by the widower who is seen supporting the corpse for the photograph.
Her face is painted; shell necklaces, belt and armlets adorn her; she wears a coloured elaborate
skirt. Her legs had been tied but not her arms, nor have nostrils, etc., yet being stuffed with fibre.
 
POSTCARDS FROM THE TROBRIAND ISLANDS 2 >
 

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By Jane Resture       
(E-mail: jane@janeresture.com -- Rev. 20th September 2002)