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Rock Art and (Re)Production of Narratives: A Cassowary Bone Dagger Stencil Perspective from Auwim, East Sepik, Papua New Guinea

Abstract : Cassowaries (Casuarius) are one of the largest indigenous animal species of New Guinea. Researchers have long been trying to understand their local socio-cultural significance. Here we present new results from interviews recorded in 2018 on ethnography associated with bone daggers, a material culture ornament and tool carved from the cassowary's tibiotarsus. We present a 'storied notion'-a contemporary narrative from oral history of why cassowary is not simply a bird, and briefly describe cassowary bone ornamentation in Auwim, East Sepik Province of Papua New Guinea. By exploring the material history of Casuarius through a 'storied notion' approach, we reveal that cassowary bone daggers in rock art are narrative ideas of the species from its landscape to ornamentation and through to people's cosmological beliefs surrounding Casuarius. We argue that the cassowary bone dagger stencil can be seen as part of the life history of this animal.
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https://hal-cnrs.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03753739
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Submitted on : Thursday, August 18, 2022 - 4:19:53 PM
Last modification on : Friday, August 19, 2022 - 3:53:28 AM

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Roxanne Tsang, Sebastien Katuk, Sally K May, Paul S.C. Taçon, François-Xavier Ricaut, et al.. Rock Art and (Re)Production of Narratives: A Cassowary Bone Dagger Stencil Perspective from Auwim, East Sepik, Papua New Guinea. Cambridge Archaeological Journal, Cambridge University Press (CUP), In press, ⟨10.1017/s0959774322000026⟩. ⟨hal-03753739⟩

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