Tari Market by bobfoto

Tari Market

I mentioned yesterday that the couple who I was travelling with had two blonde girls who were the centre of attention where ever we wandered throughout Tari. Our bus driver took every opportunity to hold the young girls, and would give them piggy back rides and he was kinda proud to be the carer for these two magnetic children.

At the Tari Markets, a downpour of rain fell, so I sought refuge under a small eave of a shed. Others joined me and we stood huddled together watching the rain. Inside the shed, I could hear the voices of men, drinking beer and playing pool. New and nervous to PNG, I was wary about entering so I just poked my head in the door. It was dark inside and I could see little. A man with massive dreadlocks pulled me inside and with the air thick of a mix of pungent aromatic 'tobacco', beer, body sweat and betelnut, he looked me closely in the eye, beards touching and said "You play pool?" to which I replied "Yes, but not very well..."

His eyes lit up and he moved closer, and over the din of the room, he said in my ear "You don't need to be good, you just need to have money" and then he roared with laughter, his red stained teeth noticeable as my eyes started to adjust to the light within.

I smiled back, placed my left hand over my wallet (still there) and said "I'd pass" and left back outside.

In hindsight, I should have racked 'em up!

Back at the bus, I turned around at the top of the stairs and took a quick photo. This is the resulting shot.

Photo taken 18 November 2006
Such a mix! Some very ham-it-up expressions in there!
November 9th, 2012  
what a fantastic mix of expressions here! :D
November 9th, 2012  
@archaeofrog @agentzuckerguss - Oh they loved the camera!
November 9th, 2012  
Their skull structures are all the same, aren't they? Big wide mouths - all the better to smile with!
November 9th, 2012  
@maggiemae - there are many cousins and brothers and sisters in this mix. The nature of clan warfare and small tribes makes in-breeding a real concern. Some tribes deal with it with purpose, others well... tend to just go with the flow...
November 9th, 2012  
What expressions! I would also have liked a shot of the inside pool table scene.
November 9th, 2012  
@tthompsonca - It was so dark inside, and there were one hundred men in there... I thought the camera would disappear or the flash would set a riot off! I was very new to PNG and was treading lightly. If it had been in my third year, I would have grabbed a beer, and shot some pool.
November 9th, 2012  
awesome story...well told.....i could totally picture it all going down....especially the beards touching part! I really like the perspective you took this pic from....and find it interesting that a few of the kids are actually making silly faces.......it doesn't seem like i've seen that a lot in the other kid/people photos from this series...
November 9th, 2012  
@sticksandstones - I think the thing that worked well in my favour in PNG was that I didn't shy back and I accepted gestures that perhaps other western males would think were a bit "too friendly". Sometimes when people get in "the face" of others, they tend to step back, but because I focus well up close, I stood my ground, so I think I got some respect by what did appear as his intimidatory approach. The PNGean men love shaking hands, and often the handshake can last minutes, and linger. The men would often hold hands, especially the highlanders and they wold sometimes use this as a show of attachment, so when some of my crew (again, the highlanders) wanted to show me something they were proud of, they would often lead me by the hand, as a sign to others that maybe they had some control and/or ownership. It was a two way street though, and hand-communication could be used by myself to demonstrate perhaps something that they were perhaps not so proud of. One thing, PNGeans don't kiss, there's no history or custom there, even hugging is odd... handshakes all the way, and now there's a creeping in (from modern sport) of the handshake, and a chest bump between men.
November 9th, 2012  
@bobfoto i think non-verbal communication is so interesting - how it shifts cross-culturally....and even in smaller divisions....and there is so much room for miscommunication on some of these issues. very interesting stuff indeed. I am just now trying to think of situations in which men in American cultures hold hands......if ever......
November 9th, 2012  
What a delightful variety of expression and faces! Great capture, Jason!
November 10th, 2012  
how can one not smile at all those wonderful expressions!
November 10th, 2012  
really like this shot
November 10th, 2012  
@snapshotdre - cheers Andre, thank you!

@loztsoul - yeah, they put on a great group shot!

@grammyn - Say Cheese!

@sticksandstones - I am glad that I was tolerant enough to accept the local conduct... it worked on so many levels!
November 10th, 2012  
Jim
Wow. the variety of expressions is captivating. I've spent a while just looking at each individual and how he postures for the camera. The one I keep finding myself drwn to is on the top right with what looks like a headband of greens
November 10th, 2012  
Love the clowns in the group.
November 10th, 2012  
Obviously your sense of adventure was not to the fore that day. Haha, don't worry, I'd be having more than second thoughts in the circumstances!
November 10th, 2012  
@jcarrollphoto - yeah the headband of moss was very popular!

@kjarn - aren't they a cracker?

@girlie - yeah the Southern Highlanders were pretty rugged... I reckon I would think differently nowadays....
November 10th, 2012  
i do love a group shot, the variety of expressions is class
November 10th, 2012  
A beautiful sight - a huge variety of facial expressions!
November 10th, 2012  
♥ nice flashback photo.....
November 10th, 2012  
Lovely crowd shot, nicely captured. When I was in India I was always the centre of attention because of my blonde hair. Everyone wanted to have their photo taken with me & I was often asked to hold peoples babies. I was told later that it was because I was considered lucky.
November 10th, 2012  
great capturre of different expression.:D
November 10th, 2012  
@fjh - Oh that sounds so cool. My niece was the centre of attention in Malaysia for the same reasons. :)

@houdiniem - there are some characters here!

@kandernob - sure is! Thanks Karen :)

@gavincci - Cheers JD, this whole year has been one crazy flashback for me!

@snowflakes86 - Thanks Her :)
November 10th, 2012  
Oh wow, so many inquisitive faces.. Slightly intimidating as well
November 10th, 2012  
@michelleyoung - they move very quietly when need arises and can amass in great numbers with great speed. Their tribal instincts as warriors is still evident when you see them riot and fight. Pack mentality is super scary when witnessed and their warrior nature is probably why crimes of such ferocity and violence still take place in the village, in the city at regular rate. PNG, its a beautiful place but a high level of awareness is required...
November 10th, 2012  
I dont think humans ever lose that mentality.. We are natural born warriors one way or another... It must have been incredible yet scary to observe
November 10th, 2012  
@michelleyoung - I agree. You only have to look at the Riots in Britain last year, or the protests in Africa and the Middle East. We are all animals afterall...
November 10th, 2012  
I always read your stories to my wife, and we both enjoy this window to a totally different culture. Interesting photo with varied expressions and good color.
November 11th, 2012  
@rvwalker - Thank you Ross, your words humble me... thank you.
November 11th, 2012  
The facial expressions in there are just amazing!
November 11th, 2012  
What a wonderful mix of faces and expressions! I think you did well to hold onto your money by skipping the pool...!
November 11th, 2012  
@filsie65 @grizzlysghost - I think the two lads who are really hamming it up helps the brevity of this shot... they certainly liven things up and I don't know if it would have been the same if they were serious?
November 11th, 2012  
@bobfoto You're absolutely right - most of the others are looking somewhere between bemused and downright serious. Guess they didn't see many hairy white guys and were working you out.
November 11th, 2012  
I agree Jason.
November 11th, 2012  
@filsie65 - they just wanted to see the two blonde girls again!
November 11th, 2012  
ha ha... isn't it a bad idea to say that you don't play well? Sounds like an invitation to a pool shark.

these kids are characters!
November 12th, 2012  
@hellcat - or maybe an invitation FROM a pool shark?
November 12th, 2012  
You?
November 12th, 2012  
@hellcat - I reckon I was good.
November 12th, 2012  
Oh you reckon hunh? He sounded like he was baiting you.
November 12th, 2012  
@hellcat - I just didn't want to take on a table and keep winning and leave my friends outside in the rain... we had places to go and people to see.
November 12th, 2012  
What a sweet guy, thinking of your friends like that. :)
November 13th, 2012  
@hellcat - love my friends... ;)
November 13th, 2012  
Good man. :)
November 13th, 2012  
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