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Tiki Central Forums » » Beyond Tiki » » Photos of Peoples in Melanesia
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Photos of Peoples in Melanesia
I dream of tiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 12, 2004
Posts: 494
From: Pittsburgh, PA
Posted: 2005-05-11 5:59 pm   Permalink

I am posting this for my new friend Dominique Rice, the owner of Oceania,etc in South Florida. She wanted to share this with the Tiki Central ohana. She took these pictures of these Trobriand natives during her travels to Melanesia. I am including her narration to accompany her photos.

Photos from Kaibola Village, Kiriwina Island

"The Trobriands are an archipelago of several low-lying coral islands situated to the northeast of New Guinea. They are part of Melanesia, a vast area to the south of the equator measuring 3,300 miles by 700 miles and encompassing New Guinea, the second largest island in the world, and the surrounding island chains. Since 1975, the Trobriand Islands have been considered part of a larger area known as the Massim District of the nation of Papua New Guinea."


Trobriand girls wearing traditional layered skirt


Trobriand Dancers

"There is much trade between the islands; both ceremonial trading, called hula in which shell-disc necklaces and shell armbands are exchanged, and utilitarian, in which canoes, clay pots, wooden bowls, pigs, food, betel-nuts, and betel chewing utensils are traded.

Magic and myth are strong forces in the lives of the Massim. They believe that most goals and tasks that they attempt can be promoted or obstructed by magic. Magic has the power to increase the fertility of the soil, improve the seaworthiness of canoes, and increase the power of the woodcarvers and the weapons they make. It can also inspire love, make people sick, kill people, control the weather, and make trade partners yield the desired items. Throughout the Massim area there are different myths that explain the creation of man and the custom of betel chewing among other things.

In the Islands, Taro is the staple food, but yams are the status crop. Yams are eaten at weddings, funerals and other ritual feasts. The July-August harvest is followed by two months of feasts and competitions during with special dress such as these straw skirts made out of banana leaves is worn, before work on the next planting begins.

Yams are competitively displayed around the decorated yam storage houses in the plazas. Dance competitions are organized by the ranked chiefs with backing from their wives' matrilineal clans and the traditional skirts are worn."


Trobriand Yam House

"Funeral ceremonies and feasts are important. They take place over a period of months and often honor a group of deceased relatives. Sponsorship of a Massim mortuary feast signifies the heir's ability to assume both assets and debts of the deceased. This can include exchanges with a man's Kula partners and paying off his pig debts."


Trobriand boys


[edited by Hanford to fix the subject]
[ This Message was edited by: I dream of tiki on 2005-05-11 21:26 ]

[ This Message was edited by: hanford_lemoore on 2005-05-12 19:54 ]


 
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exotica59
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 17, 2004
Posts: 479
Posted: 2005-05-11 6:21 pm   Permalink

Thank-you so much for sharing that with us! Most interesting! Wonderful photos.I have a great interest in anything from New Guinea or the near by islands

 
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DawnTiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 01, 2002
Posts: 1675
From: next stop Hulaville!
Posted: 2005-05-11 6:48 pm   Permalink

All I can say is WoW! Thanks IDOT for sharing these with us! Please thank your new friend, Dominique, for allowing you to post them here. What beautiful faces, people and images! The baby with the coke is classic...budump..bump...get it...coke..classic...oh nevermind! It's a great image!

 
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Kono
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Joined: Oct 08, 2003
Posts: 1266
From: Orlando
Posted: 2005-05-11 6:50 pm   Permalink

From reading his book, I think that Paul Theroux enjoyed his time in the Trobriands more than any other place in the Pacific, except perhaps Hawaii. In fact, he went back at least once more and did pen a couple of pieces for National Geographic about the Trobriands and her people. He was especially curious about the Yam Feasts and all of the extra-curricular activities that are part and parcel of those celebrations.

The fairly recent movie "In a Savage Land," which is available on DVD, is set in the Trobriand Islands and is a pretty good flic. It's about a pair of married anthropologists who are studying the Trobriands just prior to and during the WWII forays of the Japanese into the area. Since the protagonists are anthropologists, you just can't help but learn a little bit about the islanders.
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Polynesiac
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Jan 29, 2004
Posts: 2079
From: San Pedro, CA
Posted: 2005-05-11 8:26 pm   Permalink

thank god malinowski didn't have the last say on this amazing and very interesting population of islanders.

THanks for posting these great pics and text.
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I dream of tiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 12, 2004
Posts: 494
From: Pittsburgh, PA
Posted: 2005-05-11 9:13 pm   Permalink

Minor errors involved. It seems that some of these shots are from te Sepik river in Papua New Guinea.

Would y'all prefer that this thread be renamed to the peoples of Melanesia as an umbrella term? OR should I start a new topic. I'm for the change in name so all these shots can stay on one place.


 
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PapeToaTane
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Joined: Mar 19, 2005
Posts: 518
From: Hyderabad, India
Posted: 2005-05-11 9:38 pm   Permalink

I don't care how ya label 'em - those photos are sweet! Thanks for posting!!

 
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I dream of tiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 12, 2004
Posts: 494
From: Pittsburgh, PA
Posted: 2005-05-11 9:38 pm   Permalink

New Addition: Inhabitant from along the Sepik River, Papua New Guinea

According to Dominique, many photos were taken during a festival that happens a few times a year, called a "Singsing."




This boy was the reciever of a Coca-Cola from Dominique

Here are some closeups of a man's attire. Notice the boar's tusks in the jewelry. The same worn by some women another shot.




Close up of Belt with shells


Arm band closeup




[ This Message was edited by: I dream of tiki on 2005-05-12 16:16 ]


 
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I dream of tiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 12, 2004
Posts: 494
From: Pittsburgh, PA
Posted: 2005-05-12 06:42 am   Permalink

More photos from a "Singsing" on PNG. The costumes are just amazing.







 
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Jungle Trader
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 04, 2003
Posts: 3736
From: Trader's Jungle Outpost, Turlock, Ca.
Posted: 2005-05-12 07:43 am   Permalink

ohh to abandon civilization and live a life off the land, in harmony with nature, a simpler life.
No freeways, highways, no deadlines, no time, no idiot drivers, no whiners, no clothes, no mortgage.
Jus' swingin' from a vine in a loincloth. Are we all wannabes?


 
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Benzart
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Joined: Jan 09, 2004
Posts: 10364
From: Port Saint Lucie, Florida
Posted: 2005-05-13 05:22 am   Permalink

Very nice post, I Dream of Tiki. Thanks so much for taking the time nd efort to share these great memories with us. Fantastic tour guide you are!
HappyHappyHappy
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I dream of tiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 12, 2004
Posts: 494
From: Pittsburgh, PA
Posted: 2005-05-13 07:44 am   Permalink

You are very kind Benzart. I am merely being the mouth piece for Dominique. She has wonderful pictures and stories to tell. She is very excited to have such a willing audience. We will keep the photos and stories coming.

Dominique was telling me more details about the "Singsing" festival. It seems earlier in the 20th Century, folks from Australia proposed to the people of Papua New Guinea that it would be better for them to start having festivals to display their self-expressing costumes than fighting and killing each other. Ah, those cannibal days.
So, now the best way to see these colorful costumes of all these tribes in one place is to attend the "Singsing." Otherwise, a visitor would need to travel to each of the individual tribes.

Dominique pointed out how each tribes has their own unique costumes, as you have already witnessed with the boar's tusk, blue faces, heavy plumage, and skeleton resembling costumes.

[ This Message was edited by: I dream of tiki on 2005-05-13 07:54 ]


 
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KuKuAhu
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Dec 23, 2002
Posts: 567
From: Kahiki, Ohio
Posted: 2005-05-13 1:16 pm   Permalink

Awesome post!

Thank you very much!


Ahu


 
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Tikiwahine
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 09, 2003
Posts: 3288
From: Victoria, BC
Posted: 2005-05-13 3:14 pm   Permalink

Yes! Thanks for the great post!
I am thoroughly enjoying it.


 
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I dream of tiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 12, 2004
Posts: 494
From: Pittsburgh, PA
Posted: 2005-05-13 4:57 pm   Permalink

In this edition, Dominique discusses shells as money in PNG.

"When the Leahy brothers came into the Highlands of Papua New Guinea searching for gold, they found people who valued the gold-lipped pearl shell as much as the miners valued gold. Shells are valuable all over New Guinea, but especially so in the Highlands where the traditional trading contacts between tribes slowly passed shells from ocean to mountain valleys.The mountain people had no concept of the sea, but they wanted the rare, glowing shells. After contact, at the time, the Leahy's and others flew in thousands of shells to pay their laborers. The Papua New Guinea currency equivalent of the dollar is called the kina as a result, but shells endure and are still used in traditional ceremonial payment as well as pectoral ornements."

Closeup of kina necklace(below). Mount-Hagen area. (20th Century)


"Kinas, mother of pearl necklaces, are rare treasures from Papua, were worn either alone or in great quantities and made of large mother of pearl moon shaped pieces (the gold-lipped pearl shell is cut into crescent shapes called kina) & decorated with fibers, brown pigments etc…Strung on very fine fibers, they are often tinted with red ochre, and sometimes decorated with small cowry shells set into resin paste. Small dots are often drilled to accentuate the shape."



 
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