Summary

The ceremonial beard is set onto the chin of a senior man for a sacred ceremony and thus worn like a beard. Breast feathers of the red-collared lorikeet have been embedded into this beard and the string is made of possum fur. These were made for and worn by senior men for ceremonies, and is actually attached to an existing beard. Senior ceremonial leaders and men of great power sported a 'goatee' type beard to denote their status, and this is thought to have been an influence of the Macassans as they appear to mimic those worn by the captains of the Macassan fleets. The anthropologist Donald Thomson recorded the term 'dhuwurr bulumbul' for this beard, the first word meaning custom and the second being white or grey hair, indicating it was a custom associated with old men.

Physical Description

A beard made of a central core of bark bound with possum fur string overlaid with beeswax and painted with white pipe clay. Coloured parrot feathers are embedded into the resin in the centre of the beard and a tuft of white feathers are attached to the distal end.

Local Name

dhawarrak

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