Beatrice Blackwood
Great Britain 1936-37 | 25 Min. | Video

The 1930s was the heyday of pre-War ethno­graph­ic film pro­duc­tion, and Blackwood’s footage from New Guinea is typ­i­cal, although dis­tin­guished by a higher stan­dard of camera work. The footage (also known as ‘A stone age people in New Guinea’) large­ly focus­es on domes­tic life and mate­r­i­al cul­ture – eating, look­ing after chil­dren, making net bags and a rather unset­tling scene of cane swal­low­ing (for curing ill­ness). ‘Kukukuku’ is a broad term cov­er­ing a number of groups in the New Guinea high­lands, with whom Black­wood spent nine months while attached to the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford. The final scenes of the film doc­u­ment the Arawe of New Britain.