Blogs » Working Abroad » My Summer Vacation 6/6



Some of the performance highlights were truly memorable:

There was one group from the Gulf province that had girls with wonderfully thick grass skirts that hung to their ankles and had shells around their waists. Many of the girls used a side to side movement that gently swished the grasses and made the shells sing out as they moved. There were two girls in the group, however, that had a little more swing in their hips, and I stood among a group of spectators (men and women both) that sounded out their approval for such moves. It was from these two that we learned, simply from the "swishing", the painted designs on the backs of their legs extended all the way up to the tops of their thighs.

There was also one small girl in a group from a similar grass-skirted region that had moves of her own. The more the crowd responded, the more she put into her dance. She was so very cute, I almost felt sorry for the older girls who had put so much into their costumes and moves only to be outdone by this youngster. It was a great presentation.

One of the island groups had two scantily clad young men enter the arena first, to a wonderful trio of hollow log drums. These boys had some moves that Michael Jackson would have been proud of, and elicited encouraging hoots from the men in the crowd as well as appreciative laughter from the girls and women.

The dancers from the Sepik region put on a wonderful performance simulating the killing of a crocodile as they danced. Then one of their young men moved slowly about the edges of the roped off area with a live young crocodile secured to a piece of wood, thrusting it at audience members as he moved. The young people merely jumped back and laughed, while young children ran for their mothers, and more than a few of the older women nearly trampled people trying to get out of the way.

The Asaro mudmen were another crowd favourite in their distinctive clay pot masks, and bodies white with dried mud. These boys played their parts very seriously and even the two younger boys, mudmen in training it seemed, were serious and cautious about their duties in the festivities.

Gosh, there is so much more I want to share with you, but already this series of posts is so long that I know I've lost many of you. So, I'll bring it to an end now. But I did enjoy this day, and this glimpse of only small pieces of PNG culture, so very much!