Boy from Buka by bobfoto

Boy from Buka

Sometimes you just know when you get a shot that you're gonna like. I arrived for my week away vacation on the island of Buka which I now hear means "beautiful" and I won't disagree but all my trekking and snorkelling and hiking and fishing was all pre-booked and someone then told me as I arrived that the Mona Festival was on this week and I'd be able to experience a few days of Bougainvillean sing-sing culture at its rawest.

Cool.

So a mona is a canoe and the opening of the festival involves a canoe or three arriving on the shore and then carried along the streets to the 'showgrounds'. To greet the canoe at the shore were four sing-sing cultural groups from different areas of the islands of Bougainville.

Because the organisers said the Mona Festival would happen in August but not announce dates until the last week, they didn't get the huge international tourists as could be expected, but they got me and my 70-300mm zoom lens. So when I showed up, I got ushered around and gaps in the crowd were made unto the point that I ended up front and centre amongst the four cultural groups waiting for their canoes to arrive.

So I took photos.

Deep in amongst a group of bare breasted ladies and hot sweaty screaming men was this young lad whom was doing his best to sing and dance and get involved with the revelry.

It was hard not to.

Standing amongst them all myself, the beach sand moved and flowed with the stomping of feet and the resonation of the hollow bamboo pipes just made my insides churn as well. The caterwauling from the ladies and the chanting of the men made for an audible cacophony of human spirit and for the fortunate, read me, it made for a great spectacle.

As the singing got louder and the canoes got closer, the dark clouds behind loomed closer and heavier and it felt as if the singers were bringing the tempest ever nearer. On Bougainville island, two volcanoes erupted and I have heard since that another nearby volcano in East New Britain also blew its top.

The Mona Festival was officially opened.

Photo taken not long ago at Buka.
Wonderful portrait and great commentary. Wish I could have been there.
August 30th, 2014  
Wonderful capture of his intense look. Sounds like you've have more photos to share!! fav
August 30th, 2014  
That sounds absolutely amazing....and the portrait is wonderful.
August 30th, 2014  
Ahhhhhhhh the Billy Idol lip
August 30th, 2014  
@houdiniem - funny you should say that... there was a few contemporary rock bands playing and one group played "White Wedding"

@lynnb @gardencat - It was a cool festival to check out!

@genealogygenie - just a few. ;)
August 30th, 2014  
love the look on his face.
August 30th, 2014  
A great description for a unique festival! How lucky were you with your camera! This is a lovely candid!
August 30th, 2014  
Great intense look and love the story of the festival:-)Hope the singing didn't cause the volcanic eruptions! Lol!!
August 30th, 2014  
@blueberry1222 - deeply focused.

@maggiemae - Oh Maggiemae, I was very excited when I found out my last two days of the holiday coincided with the festival.

@carolmw - I'm thinking the singing caused some kind of explosion!
August 30th, 2014  
Fabulous shot
August 31st, 2014  
such an intense gaze and expression. you the master!
August 31st, 2014  
I love everything about this! the colors, the sideways glance, the curled lip all combine to make it a fantastic portrai!
August 31st, 2014  
@swilde - Thanks Sue :)

@summerfield - oh thank you :D

@grammyn - I felt like I was on a winner with this one.
August 31st, 2014  
@bobfoto go with the gut! Even the crop is perfect!
August 31st, 2014  
@grammyn - no croption required... sooc
August 31st, 2014  
Great shot. Love his expression.
August 31st, 2014  
@chris17 - thanks :)
September 1st, 2014  
@bobfoto in that case the composition!!
September 1st, 2014  
@grammyn - I took two shots like this and then backed the lens off a little to capture more of the little guy.
September 1st, 2014  
@bobfoto without seeing the others I would have to say I like this one the best!
September 2nd, 2014  
@grammyn - I agree. If you were ever to visit my house, you would have to sit in front of my computer for HOURS and watch all the cool shots that didn't make my project!
September 2nd, 2014  
@bobfoto You have no idea how much I would love to do that!
September 2nd, 2014  
September 3rd, 2014  
Fabulous portrait
November 15th, 2014  
@kjarn - tahnks. (too lazy to re-type but not too lazy to use this many characters to say so?)
November 15th, 2014  
@bobfoto you really didn't have to comment on all my comments but thanks.
November 15th, 2014  
@kjarn - welcome.
November 15th, 2014  
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