Hornbill carving

Focal point of the hornbill ceremony (Bekenyalang) which is the occasion of feeding heads taken from enemies. This practice is now forbidden but those long houses with heads keep up the Bekenyalang. The ceremonies are held once or twice a year or whenever someone dreams the heads are hungry. New hornbill carvings are made for each ceremony and displayed on poles. Ritual sacrifice of pigs, feasting, drinking, dancing and music occupy the long house people and their neighbours for three days.
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Collection of Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga o Waikato
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