The Goroka Show [3]

28 09 2010

More amazing pictures from the Goroka Show

Jumping Men of Enga

Smile for the Camera (Solomon Islands Girl)

Little Boy-Man Feigns Attack

The obligatory arty shot (wish I'd taken a few more actually)

Colourful Child

Chimbu Man (I think)

Madang Singsing Group

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The Goroka Show [b]

22 09 2010

Mobile Totem Poles

Some of the groups had enormous poles or boards strapped to their backs, which they carried around all day. The feathers on top of the poles are so designed that they flit symmetrically back and forth on springs made from leaves in time to the dancing.

Gorokarama

Beauty...

... and the beast (and a mud man)

The stunning girl above can only have been about 12 or something. She was dancing nonchalantly at the head of her group whilst chewing gum and blowing bubbles.

More lovelies

Young Mt. Hagen man

The 2nd day was much busier – more tourists, more singsing groups – and louder. The kundu drumming of many groups intermingled with male tribal chanting and higher-pitched female singing.

Then there were pipe players from the Solomon Islands and other island groups with guitars and ukuleles.

Island Music

Enga Man

Woman bedecked in Kina shells

In pre-contact PNG, the kina shell used to carry high value, especially in the Highlands where knowledge of the coast and sea was absent. Their rarety led to shells of all kinds being highly prized and incorporated into traditional costumes, and eventually leading to PNG’s unit of currency being named the Kina.





The Goroka Show [i]

21 09 2010

Goroka is a major town in Eastern Highlands Province, Papua New Guinea, with a history of gold-mining, coffee plantations, and missionaries.

Shy Eyes

The Show began in 1957 for entertainment purposes, an excuse to dress up and show off for the local communities. It was originally organised by Australian Kiaps – multi-functional administrative officers posted to remote locations.

The show’s popularity grew along with the range and diversity of performing singsing groups. Now it’s a major cultural event and draws tourists (with their bloody enormous camera lenses) from all over the world.

This celebration really is an all-out assault on the senses (apart from maybe the nasal one).

The Asaro Mud Men Cometh (with weighty helmets)

Friday: there was no big hype or build-up. The performers simply began parading slowly into the arena. The Asaro Mud Men were one of the first groups. They are legendary in part because they are so different to all the other groups.

Pretty soon, there were too many groups to keep up with, and there didn’t seem to be any logic as to where they were placed, so you just had to keep flitting from one side to the other in order not to miss any…

Enga Tribeswomen

One of the excellent things about the singsing groups, apart from the amazing costumes, decorations and rhythms, is how they encompass all generations and genders. No cherry-picking the young ‘good-looking’ ones here as you’ll see (although I accidentally cherry-picked a few oops!) – a refreshing change from our Western obsession with young slappers did I say slappers I meant attractive people.

Fun-Time Dudes!

On the down-side, I hate to think how many wonderful birds of paradise, sicklebills, and riflebirds were sacrificed for our pleasure. Feathers are handed down the generations, but still… didn’t bother some tourists who bought bunches of feathers from market traders. How they’ll get them past customs I have no idea.

Friday was a nice day to be there because there weren’t too many tourists and it was easy to mingle among the groups. Saturday was a different matter.

You can't beat a good smile

It was hot, but luckily I’d covered up having got burnt through the window of the bus on the way up. THROUGH THE BLOODY WINDOW! Actually the window was non-existent, having been previously smashed by raskals haha!

From the Grandstand on Friday

A thoroughly enjoyable day that gave one a real appreciation for the pride, power, and passion of Papua New Guineans (the three ‘P’s)

A Shading Kiddly





Ubii Extra

30 08 2010

Some more photos not fitting into any specific category yet worthy of some sort of attention.

Many-mouthed plant

This shot of camp was taken after sundown from the edge of primary forest. It was much darker than it looks.

Camp at dusk

Baby in a bag (2)

Folks awaiting minor medical attention

Flower/Forest Interface

The shower was a short distance from camp. Part of a mountain stream was dammed and cut bamboo placed to direct the very chilly water.

The Shower

Having a rest. Mai trying to look tough again!

Fog Descends

A hunchbacked freak unfairly snapped on his way to wash the crap out of his beard





Kaikai (that’s food that is)

17 08 2010

Elvis frying bananas (with Mai, and slightly smaller Mai)

Food – kaikai. Kaikai – food. Let’s be honest, it’s not the most bestest thing about PNG.

Kitchen store - Bananas & various tubers large enough to bludgeon an horse to death with (African Yam, Taro, Sweet Potato)

Our cupboards at Nagada are full of Tulip pork luncheon meat, Globe corned beef, and other crimes against taste & decency. Mind you, if you don’t mind the odd flap of intestine, they’re quite passable in noodle soup.

Bisket choice in Ubii. As you can see, the marketing emphasis is on how strong you will soon become

In Ubii, half the store room was devoted to Ship’s Biscuits. Basically flour & water. Thick, surprisingly filling, and occasionally dusted with flavoured salt called ‘chicken’ or ‘beef’. I preferred the chicken ‘Snax’ for breakfast and ‘navy bisket’ to go with beans or noodles.

Me scoffing some nosh inc. cup of tea & chilli sauce (it's too sweet, but my tabasco ran out)

Standard fare with dusting of curry powder

The food in Ubii, although more or less the same meal every evening for 5 weeks, was pretty good.

Sersyline preparing greenery

The Ubii-ers had planted good gardens around the camp and fresh green beans, cabbages, brocollis, and leafy stuff were available.

A Cuscus (actually I think it's a possum)

One day, the lads went hunting with the old banara (bow & arrow) and came back with a cuscus.

A cuscus (this is more cucus-esque)

It was lobbed on the fire. I have to say that the smell of it’s burning fur made me want to hack my head off, and I never quite got over it. As the gang gnawed greedily on its flesh, I nibbled a few tiny bits. The meat was tougher than the England Manager’s job, which is saying a lot. Also, I was worried about the weaker of my two front teeth. Actually, the taste wasn’t too bad, but for me it wasn’t worth the effort. Suddenly, Globe corned beef with flappy intestines became appealing.

Moomoo (pig cooked underground with various veg)

Altogether more appetising was the moomoo, a pig wrapped in banana leaves and placed atop hot rocks and covered in hunks of veg and then covered again with leaves and left to steam/roast for half a day or so.

Pork feast

I’m sure you’ll agree this post would not be complete without an arty shot of a kettle.

An arty shot of a kettle





People

14 08 2010

Some photos of the folk to be seen around Ubii.

My Favourite - Great Smile

I don’t remember this little girl’s name, but I love her smile and pose – the bush knive, the little bag. This was taken on the ridge over-looking Ubii, partly obscured by her elbow.

Late Night in the Kitchen

Brothers With Knives

Another favourite – Mai & Neru looking tough. I didn’t ask them to pose like this – as soon as I got my camera, they instinctively got into position as if pre-planned.

Camera-shy Sersyline

Sersyline is my other gall assistant, but she’s very shy and normally runs away when the camera comes out.

Martin in the Lab

Martin is our leaf-miner man. Shame about that bag.

Baby in a Bag

This is little John sleeping in a bilum hung on the side of the house, as is normal.

Me with Community Leader, Tonsep

Tonsep had a quite-possibly broken wrist, or rather, he had it broken for him by his wife who hit him with a stick after an argument.

Tonsep's wife and sons (pre-argument)

You may recognise Mai, Tonsep’s son to a previous wife, and John, the littlest one. On the right is Vojta. John & Vojta are named after John (BRC parataxonomist) and Vojta (Professor, BRC Boss, and my supervisor).

Yay!

Mai (again) and others during a party night in which a pig was moomooed (cooked underground) and we danced to music.

Ubii Siblings





Wok (that means work)

12 08 2010

Wok started in the 1st secondary forest sub-plot, handily situated adjacent to camp. Looks like I won’t be losing weight here, I thought (Correctly).

Vojta in the midst of sub-plot 1F

Our collectors (ol wokman) were hired from the community and were ready to roll after quick tutorials, their minds focused on collecting gallers, miners, caterpillars, ants & spiders from foliage, trunks, epiphytes, well everything really.

What is a gall?

We worked the understorey first, then low storey saplings, then tagged trees (not in one day of course). This sub-plot took about 3 weeks to complete.

Sub-plot 1F (demise thereof)

Back in the lab, plant vouchers, miners, caterpillars, and galls required sorting and the latter three had to be prepared for rearing.

Workstations

Field Lab / Rearing Barn

I became known as ‘gall-man’, which sounds more like ‘goll-man’ in the native tongue, which sounds a bit like Gollum…

Gall assistant, Gibson, putting an emerged insect in a vial (rearing galls behind)

I had some teething issues with assistants (from the local community). The first two had not reached a sufficiently high grade in school so were not confident reading & writing English, required for form-filling.

...and a Parasitoid

A gall

Even Gibson, a grade 8er, surprised me when he described the colour of a twig-gall as ‘pink’, when in fact it was light brown. Ooh we did laugh! Little anomalies aside, things went well and our rearings produced plenty of parasitic wasps (the live one in the picture was about 3mm long), and midges, thrips, & coccids.

Walli Brus preparing a leaf frame, and Walli Martin (Walli = Brother)

Lab banter was of a high quality and often the industrious atmosphere was popped by prolonged shrieks of laughter and shouting.

Markus working hard

... 5 minutes later

And sometimes the drooping sun shone through the mist and the light outside would perform lustrous magic on the vegetation, and for a minute I would be enraptured. Then I would forget all that and kill another insect. Science init!

Light