Dobodura Natives, Women 7
"Native girl leaning against a palm tree - bare breasted" From "Darkroom Soldier": "Melanesian Girl. During his months on the coast of eastern New Guinea, Hill photographed all genders, ages, and types of people. Here, and also in his letters to his wife, Hill documented what his Pocket Guide...explained: 'Around areas of white settlement, calico waist cloths are the useual garment for natives....Women may or may not have a top covering. For reasons of health, the governments have discouraged the wearing of a lot of clothes, especially on the upper part of the body.' Later in the booklet, Americans are warned against South Seas erotic fantasies: 'Natives, however free and easy they may seem to be among themselves, are likely to resent outsiders interfering with their women.' At the end of the Guide..., Army writers reiterate that the most troublesome offense is 'interfering with native women." ("Darkroom Soldier" caption authored by George Venn)
Helten, Paula (curator)
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Dobodura, New Guinea
From the Collection of Fred Hill