“There were as many ways of dancing the high-life as there were people on the floor. But, broadly speaking, three main patterns could be discerned. There were four or five Europeans whose dancing reminded one of the early motion pictures. They moved like triangles in an alien dance that was ordained for circles. There were others who made very little real movement. … The last group were the ecstatic ones. They danced apart, spinning, swaying or doing intricate syncopations with their feet and waist.”
– Chinua Achebe in No Longer at Ease, originally published in 1960
Here is a Mud Man, costumed for the annual Goroka Show, held in September in Goroka, Papua New Guinea. If you go, you’ll see a couple of days of dance presentations from maybe a hundred tribes from all over Papua New Guinea and as you can see from our Mud Man friend’s headgear, the whole thing is elaborate, exotic and while our man is all white other than his betel juice stains, the rest of the festival is wildly colorful. Wild might be the best word for Papua New Guinea overall.
As festivals go, this one has to be near the top of the list anywhere in the world for reasonably hardy travelers. It’s not the easiest to get to, but with a little determination it’s not that difficult. In our case it required a flight up from Brisbane to Port Moresby, then two more short flights to Mt. Hagen and then Goroka.
We did it independently but group tours are possible, although probably the biggest tour operator is already sold out for September 2016 here in November 2015.
See more photos from the Goroka Show in the Papua New Guinea Gallery at EarthPhotos.com.
On the same visit to Papua New Guinea we arranged a (sort of) cruise on the also wild Sepik River on which we were the only passengers who turned up. I wrote about it in the book Common Sense and Whiskey. You can read that chapter and see photos of life along the river here, and you can get the book locally from Amazon in your country.
More: See the rest of the Friday Photos, and check out photos of 844 more pretty exotic people from all over the world.
A good weekend to you!