Monday, January 18, 2010

Tuesday's Travels

Many of us have fascinating stories to tell about places we have visited around the world. These stories are often accompanied by captivating images we can all enjoy on the blog. The theme of this day is verbalized by Mark Twain who said, "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."

The Highlands of New Guinea

The images in this post turned up in a collage class of mine last fall. We thoroughly enjoyed listening to Agnes explain them in the classroom and she has kindly agreed to share them with us on the blog.

Here is part of her explanation:

"In the Highlands of New Guinea live the birds of paradise. The male's plumage is extravagant, colorful and is in sharp contrast to the drab females. The males display, dance and fight for the females who alone take care of the young.

In the same Highlands lives a tribe, the Huli Wigmen, who show an interesting parallel to the birds of paradise.

The Huli women dig the yams into the ground, tend the crops, harvest, raise the pigs, build huts, have the children, raise them without any help from the men.

The Huli men do not work. They spend most of their days washing, combing, oiling and wildly decorating their hair...

...and lounge around in the Wigmen's Clubs.

When things get boring the men attack the neighboring villages, destroy some huts, beat up the inhabitants and steal their pigs.

The elders of the tribe who were the victims will visit the Hulis a few days later, add up the damages and claim the pigs that the Huli women have been raising and have a large feast for both tribes.

Below are images of the local physician and his family.

In 1994 I had the good fortune to visit the Highlands of New Guinea with a group from The American Museum of Natural History. Some of the male members of our group were thrilled by this division of labor and claimed interest in staying and joining this club! I am glad to report that good sense or guilt prevailed and we all returned to this land of equality."

Fascinating pictures and an informative and wonderfully droll commentary. Just the way to start the week!

A special thank you to Agnes for this intriguing offering!

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