Markham Valley, Huon Peninsula. About 70 years old, made from a coconut the upper half decorated in bands of stylized geometry. 4 1/4" diameter with rich patina from handling. From one of the most interesting cultures in the modern era, the cargo cult, made famous by the 1962 movie Mondo Cane. In the 1930s, Markham Valley natives saw occasional airplanes, and heard of coastal contact with whites and their wondrous things, like metal axes and knives. They concluded that the whites were ancestors returning to help them. After performing the proper rituals, they were ready to receive the gifts due them. When none came, they concluded that the whites were keeping it for themselves and the thing to do was lure an airplane in. They built airplanes, radio shacks with log antennas and airfields out of straw, coconuts and other jungle materials. They hacked runways out of the jungle and paved them with palm leaves. Then they waited. You can imagine the rest!

Item ID: DNS48

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