DER Documentary

Tighten the Drums: Self-Decoration Among the Enga

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by Chris Owen
color, 58 min, 1983




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In the Western Highlands of Papua New Guinea, the Enga people have developed the art of body decoration as a visual language. Using earth paints, tree oils, bird plumes, human hair, and a variety of plants, the Enga turn the body into a medium for an expressive and dramatic symbolism. This film shows the diverse forms of body art in both daily life and ritual in Enga village society.

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