If you're lucky enough to catch a real live "Sing-Sing" then you'll have seen everything.
I never did see a true Sing-Sing - one that was orchestrated by the locals in honor of some tribal festival or wedding or special celebration - but we did get to see someone decked out in what would be typical "Sing-Sing" decor.
I'm attaching my photo which is a close up of the man's face, painted with great detail and eloquently decorative; below this tip is a scanned post card showing a group of Highlands tribemen at a Sing-Sing, and you can see their long skirts and line up.
Men who wear makeup....
As mentioned earlier, the men (not the women) are the ones who are preoccupied with their faces.
Make-up plays a big part in a Huli man's lifestyle and he devotes care and time to painting his face a certain color or in a particular pattern.
Seems this is done more to the critique of other men, not necessarily to attract women.
The women? They're too busy handling all the manual labor in the fields and sleeping in their separate quarters (women, children and animals sleep together in one hut, the men together in a separate one), to care one way or the other, I'm sure.
Some Helpful Pidgin Words/Phrases....
Monin - Good morning
Apinun- Good afternoon
Gut nait- Good night
Tenk yu- Thank you
Em hamas?- How much is that?
Mi laik baim- I would like to buy
Toilet We?- Where is the toilet?
Halpim mi plis- Help me please
Mi no laikim- I do not like it
Yumi go we?- Where are we going?
Kai Kai- Food
Man- Man or male
Meri- Woman or female
Pikinini- Baby or very young child
Manki- Older children and teenagers
Yangpela- Young man or woman
Lapun- Old man or woman
Ples Balus- Airport
Wantok- Countryman or friend
Bilas- Decoration or uniform
Yu stap gut?- How are you?
Mi stap gut- I am fine
Inap mi kisim poto?- May I take a photo?
Soim mi- Show me
Klostu- Near or close by
Longwe tumas- A very long way or too far
Wanem nem bilong yu?- What is your name?
Ples bilong yu we?- Where are you from?
Mi no klia gut- I do not understand
Mi no save- I don't know
Tok isi- Speak slowly
Haus sik- Hospital
ppppssst -- my personal fave is "pikinini", for "little one". Isn't it great?!!
It's good to learn Pidgin English
Since there are over 800 dialects spoken within Papua New Guinea, there is a tacit use of pidgin english amongst them, which makes it even a bit easier for foreigners to communicate.
For example, the sign on the door begins with "TAMBU" which is one of the first words you'll learn when in PNG...it means something like "PROHIBITED" or "FORBIDDEN" ("achtung!)...
Underneath it, it continues with "No kenkam insait"....."No can come inside".
How easy is that?!?
More on pidgin English in the next tip...
Reverence for the Departed....
I love this picture because it captures the West meets the East....
Here we see a man who proudly displays his father's skull on a raised platform...the skull of his dead father is believed to contain a powerful spirit that will ward off evil and keep the remaining members of the family safe from harm.
Meanwhile in front of this rather macabre display, a make-shift wooden cross.
Gotta love those missionaries!
Tribal Sing-Sing Celebration
Since I was unable to witness a real Sing-Sing, I can only share a scanned postcard.
Notice how the men are lined up, looking straight ahead. A typical Sing-Sing consists of two line-ups facing each other. Off to the side may be someone playing a percussion instrument, but largely the Sing-Sing is made up of swaying, circling and jumping maneuvers, always while maintaining these two lines across from each other.
The attire is supposed to be spectacular and the men are known to prepare months in advance for such a special event...and Sing-Sings take place whenever there is an air of celebration or a special honor to be marked. Friendly tribes face off in these line-ups and dance their hearts out, and then everybody eats a celebration feast afterwards. It's the major event in the Highlands.
Like I said - if you're lucky enough to catch a real live Sing-Sing, then you'll have seen a spectacular show!
Breadfruit and Avocados
This woman was selling breadfruit and avocados by the side of the road. We pulled the jeep over so that I could buy a couple of avocados from her.
If you see someone selling something by the side of the road, it's usually safe to purchase from the vendor (and much appreciated).
It is also a great photo opportunity because there are usually children mulling about, and nobody is shy!
Make sure you have very small currency denominations...receiving change is highly unlikely.
I'm not quite sure what these were to be used for, nor from what animal they came.
But as far as photo opportunities go, this one was too good to resist.