Plumes and Pearlshells

Plumes and Pearlshells

Art of the New Guinea Highlands

  1. Edited by Natalie Wilson
  2. With contributions by Chris Boylan
  • ISBN 9781741741056
  • 31.00 x 24.00 cm
  • Paperback with flaps
  • 172pp
  • Illustrated in colour throughout
  • First published 2014
  • Distributed on behalf of The Art Gallery of New South Wales

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 legbands, ear- and nose-rings and necklaces, made of feathers, shell, bark cloth, animal and plant fibres and natural pigments.

This book presents highlights from the extraordinary collection held by the Art Gallery of New South Wales, 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.