Head ornament

In 1974 Waikato Museum acquired a selection of items, including this ornament, from Graham Jackson. Jackson was a New Zealand anthropologist who spent time living with and researching the Kopon and the Kalam people of the Lower Kaironk Valley in Papua New Guinea.

Jackson fieldnotes: Head ornament of cassowary feathers bound with two ply cord. Urayon: this term simply means cassowary. The headdresses are worn by small boys, about 2-3 years old, during a special ceremony held each year. The major annual ceremony, lasting 2-3 days, involves the seclusion of the boys in a hut from which women are banned. They listen to chanting which is intended to be a form of benediction for their growing up. During the last fews hours of this ceremony they wear the headdresses, at the conclusion of which they parade around the hut.
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Object detail

Cassowary feather and natural fibre.
342 x 102 x 65mm - HxWxD
Department collection type
Credit line
Collection of Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga o Waikato
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