For Laewomba men bark cloth caps were both a symbol of their success in battle, but also worn to demonstrate their transition through major life cycle events, for example the transition from boyhood to adulthood or to seal a marriage. Both these events required a boy, or a man, to perform homicide. The number of homicides the wearer had to his name was indicated first through the wearing of the hat, then by the addition a pompom made of cuscus fur; then a feather located on the crown and then a cockatoo feather placed in the rim for each subsequent death. At the turn of the nineteenth century, during peace negotiations between the Laewomba and their neighbours, a man sent his bark cloth hat as a contribution to the peace making gift.

Physical Description

A man's hat made of bark cloth, painted with a series of zigzag and triangle patterns in black and pale red.

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