Members of the Omena Singsing Group of the Eastern Highlands Province at the Goroka Show, Papua New Guinea
Three hero shots, three heroic highland warriors.
Another tribe that somehow I don’t know the name of. At the time I think I’d guessed they were more member of the Kunai Culture Singsing Group (shown in a previous blog), but now it is clear that they have different pattern of red, black, white and yellow face paint. For this next photograph I switched to using off camera flash to illuminate the portrait. It produces a very different style of image, and although I don’t usually go for this “lit” look when shooting travel work it is useful to add some punch and variety to the selection of images from an event.
On the second and third day of the show I was organized enough to note the names of the tribes I was photographing. Unfortunately some tribes, such as this one, slipped through the net. I’m pretty sure they are from the Mt Hagen area, but not sure of the exact name. Anyone out there in the internet able to help?
As you move away from a person it is more difficult to get eye contact and create a moment of connection between subject and photographer. In this photograph, however, the man stared right down the lens of the camera. At first glance this looks like an elderly frail man. Then you notice the veins on the muscles, the strength in his grip, and you realize he’s probably fitter and stronger than the guy on the other side of the camera.
In some parts of Papua New Guinea you can still use certain shells as currency. The Tokua Culture group clearly held shells in high esteem as each wore multiple layers of shell necklaces that rattled as they danced.
The Andase Singsing Group of Kainantudis. Simple natural tones created using leaves, grasses and shells made up their traditional dress.
The Kunai Culture Singsing Group with their red, black, white and yellow face paint gives them one of the most distinctive looks of the Goroka Show.
Interesting to see another cultural parallel between Papua New Guinea and Okinawa. And remember, “Whoever holds the conch gets to speak.”