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Essays

•Maro paintings of Irian Jaya

Michael C. Howard

HUMBRAY MRA-MRA, Untitled, 1993, natural pigments, 80 x 103 cm.

Maro is a word used for bark-cloth in the area around Jayapura in the Indonesian province of Irian Jaya. Initially used for clothing, in the past fifty years or so the word has come to be identified primarily with paintings on bark-cloth from this area - known locally as maro smo or daka homo. Between the outbreak of the Second World War and the 1980s maro painting almost vanished. The tradition was kept alive by…

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