Western Province Sing-sing by bobfoto

Western Province Sing-sing

I am currently roaming around a group of islands to the north of Australia called the Torres Strait Islands. Around 130 sandbars and coral cays and rocky outcrops which split mainland Australia from the massive Western Province of Papua New Guinea.

The other day I was standing on Saibai Island looking over the short gap of water where PNG was. The people of the Western Province often canoe across the water and seek medical attention from the Australian Medical Centre there. The people of this region are very closely connected.

Even their dance moves and traditional attire is very similar. Google the Torres Strait Flag and you will see a very similar designed headdress to this chap here from the PNG side of things...

Photo taken 30 August 2008
nice shot chap
August 29th, 2012  
@houdiniem - ta very muchly.
August 29th, 2012  
Fantastic headdress!
August 29th, 2012  
@bella_ss - I do like some of the TI headdresses with the boats and sharks and stuff!
August 29th, 2012  
humm... now I am very puzzled... I have not noticed the latest pictures you are uploading are from other years. But you were, or are, near the location where they were taken, right? Did something happened with your camera and I missed that?
August 29th, 2012  
@carrapeta00 - My 2012 Project is a retrospective look back at the 3 years I lived in PNG. 2006-09. I look through all of my August shots and I ten try to get as close to the dates as possible a collection of 31 August shots to post for this month.

As an example, in September 06, 07, and 08, I took 4,950 photographs and I have spent some time recently checking out the coolest 30 shots for next month starting Saturday.
August 29th, 2012  
@bobfoto , omg... that must take a lot of time to go through all the pics. Just recentely I decided to look at some of my old pictures and it took 2 days to check just 1 year!
August 29th, 2012  
@carrapeta00 - I am only doing one month at a time. I took around 16,600 shots during the whole 3 years, but September and November would be the two busiest months.
August 29th, 2012  
Fantastic shot. Love this retrospective tour. Fav.
August 29th, 2012  
Fantastic shot, what a great headdress and attire. Well captured.
August 29th, 2012  
Wonderful o_o
August 29th, 2012  
very cool portrait.
August 29th, 2012  
Great headdress shot, He looks to be at an odd angle. Must be in the middle of a dance?
August 29th, 2012  
another awesome portrait Jason....i just love your people shots!
August 29th, 2012  
wow, what a portrait...
August 29th, 2012  
You are so lucky to have been to these amazing places :) Beautiful photo as always!
August 29th, 2012  
His face is well framed by the feathered head dress
August 29th, 2012  
Love the angle, the expression, and headdress. Your shots of all the different island people is so interesting.
August 29th, 2012  
Amy
Stunning.
August 29th, 2012  
fascinating, that head dress is a work of art. great photo and read, too. fav.
August 29th, 2012  
They are considered "primitive" people but I wonder how many of us "sophisticated" folk could produce such a piece of art ?? Just wondering. Great capture.
August 29th, 2012  
@anazad511 - Thanks Ana :)

@geocacheking - Cheers Cameron, thank you.

@htp - Why thank you Hatem :)

@abhijit - thanks.

@tigerdreamer - he is... his legs
August 29th, 2012  
Great capture,a wonderful headdress!!
August 29th, 2012  
I am so jealous.. really I am..
Amazing shot once again
August 29th, 2012  
Fabulous shot Jason...the low angle is beaut
August 30th, 2012  
Excellent capture! What a great pose you've caught there.
(A quick glance at the thumbnail and I thought it was you!)
August 30th, 2012  
Fabulous headdress!
August 30th, 2012  
@carolmw - Cheers Carol!

@michelleyoung - I won't have jealousy here... a bit of envy can be tolerated... ;)

@swilde - I was sitting on my bum, next to the girls who were singing who were next to the boys who were playing the Garamut drums...

@filsie65 - I think you should look at my last The Seven shot as see if these two noses match up??? ;) Oh and your comment is GOLD!

@kjarn - ain't it just!
August 30th, 2012  
How wonderful. Fabulous costume. Great capture
August 30th, 2012  
@sangwann - Thanks Dione :)
August 30th, 2012  
Beautiful expression--really enjoying all these PNG photos.
September 2nd, 2012  
@worldbiking - It is an amazing country. And you are not that far away from there eh?
September 2nd, 2012  
Lyn
Absolutely amazing shot. . .
September 3rd, 2012  
@lyno - Thanks Lyn :)
September 3rd, 2012  
Ok...
Love the headdress. It's really unique.
The composition is so freakin' fitting. I love how he is hunched into the frame with an almost "C" formation with his torso and head. Fantastic. :)
September 20th, 2012  
@hellcat - thanks... I also like how his eyes are low, but their gaze is lifted. It gives a real compact tightness to the story.

Thank you.
September 20th, 2012  
wow! now that´s intense!
September 20th, 2012  
@agentzuckerguss - I liked these guys, they were very flowing in their dance moves and had a great sense of timing. Very cool to sit down and watch for a while.
September 20th, 2012  
Absolutely! There's that tension. Being a western viewer unfamiliar with the context of the ritual dance there's also a sense of warning a fear. He's very predator-ish. (If you know what I mean.) I absolutely love this one.
September 21st, 2012  
@hellcat - I do know what you mean. However, this dance was flowing and very choreographed. From this crouched position, this gave him space to move into and rise up and clap his hands high above his head. This gave a sense of flowing and rhythm with a beat clap and the tinkle of his seed pods there. Which then lead to a wide spread of his arms, a high raise of his left leg, almost birdlike. Back down into a crouch as the left leg headed into a step to the left and the hand clap in front of his face.

But with good flow and tempo. Kinda like Tai Chi but a little more tribal and a few hops and skips and of course, a bit faster paced. And with drums and singing!
September 21st, 2012  
So nothing like Tai Chi. :p

Your description makes him sound like a bird. Do they do totem animals and spirit guides?
September 23rd, 2012  
@hellcat - they do, and these guys especially do. The people of the Torres Strait Islands (where I just was) and the Western Province (coastal) totem the Cassowary, the Crocodile, the Shark and the Turtle I believe... there is a Dugong in there, but I am not sure if that is a totem. The people and the master carvers of the Sepik will call themselves the people of the river and they kinda mean they're the Crocodile people, and the master carvers themselves will have their skin carved into a crocodile skin pattern.

The Tolai people with their volcanos believe they are from the fire and the earth so they have some very spiritual masks and dances, and I have a Tolai photograph coming up in October of a Duk Duk or two. Very impressive spirits.

The coastal people and the Island people tend to lean towards spirits but the Highlanders love their Birds of Paradise and their songs and dances often mimic these birds.

The Sanguma is the powerful often evil spirit that causes the most consternation in the Highland people.
September 23rd, 2012  
great portrait!
September 29th, 2012  
@martinee - Thank you Martine :)
September 29th, 2012  
Oh, the crocodile skin pattern has to be creepily cool. I'd never be able to endure a scarification ceremony.

Can't wait to see the October Duk Duk then.

I think some of these earth / spirit based belief systems are extremely interesting and have a very charismatic quality.
September 30th, 2012  
@hellcat - the problem with the crocodile scars is they deliberately infect the scars so they form keloids, which can be painful from time to time for the rest of your life...

Oh and Duk Duks are nearby.... couple of days away.
September 30th, 2012  
Ok, this is going to sound awful, but it's not meant to, but I was under the impression that darker skin developed keloids more frequently than fairer skin (not me of course... You should see my lovely scars... not really, just saying). Yeah, scarification in any form looks like a painful process, no matter how it's done. I hope the infections aren't life threatening to the practitioners.
September 30th, 2012  
@hellcat - true comment. Darker skin will develop keloids more frequently than fair skin. But the crocodile guys really want to guarantee the quality of the scars by massaging the wounds with ash and bark. Its pretty brutal.
September 30th, 2012  
ouch. Ash doesn't sound nearly as painful as bark. Hopefully one can choose the rubbing ingredient...

Hey, I've got some catching up to do on your project. There's a couple of people that I want to be current on, and you happen to be one of them. This is your heads up for a blow up in your notifications after I finish my homework this evening. Last chapter on the Renaissance and I can't tell you how freakin' ready I am to get on with it. (Not that I don't appreciate and even love some of it, but you can only look at so much religious art in a day.) Yep, back on topic... me blowing up your notifications.... get ready. :D
September 30th, 2012  
@hellcat - Bring it.

I like the Renaissance, I like massive art and I like reality and I like grand scale and pomp and ceremony and the Renaissance provides all of that by the bucketful.
September 30th, 2012  
This is true. There's all that... and the beginnings of some interesting thought/symbolism in self portraiture... HOWEVER... I think I'm liking certain regions better than others, and definitely the High Renaissance and especially late Renaissance where there is more questioning of the church and the reformations, and the inclusion of philosophical ideas.

I've been toying with the idea of posting discussion questions from class for people to weigh in on, but I'm not sure I know enough people who would enjoy chatting art.

right... homework...
September 30th, 2012  
@hellcat - perhaps start a fcbk group and you could hand select whom you want to participate?
September 30th, 2012  
lol... simple, yet effective solution. Thank you. :)
September 30th, 2012  
@hellcat - I'm just hoping I get an invite... fingers and everything I have two of is now crossed.
September 30th, 2012  
@hellcat - including eyes.
September 30th, 2012  
Serious? I'll post the most recent discussion on your wall. I haven't written mine yet, but kind of got a kick out of what appears to be flowers growing out of someone's bum--- and it's Renaissance art!!!
September 30th, 2012  
@hellcat - they would be Pansies perhaps?
September 30th, 2012  
lol. Maybe you should go have a look and let me know. :p
September 30th, 2012  
@hellcat - I have a funny story about the Army, a little old lady and a bunch of pansies....
September 30th, 2012  
*snicker* I can only imagine... do share. Here or there is fine.
September 30th, 2012  
@hellcat - perhaps one day when I am feeling nostalgic for a good tale....
September 30th, 2012  
*sigh* tease
September 30th, 2012  
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