Day 5: Mount Hagan first round of tribes – Papua New Guinea

Fruit breakfast – straight from the source! They grow it just below where I\’m sleeping.

Banana, 2 passion fruits, popo (looks like cantaloupe),
Mogi tribe is the first one. One of the biggest tribes in the city.
New words that I learned today
Kandayo = bye
Likim-you = I like you
Jika tribe is the second largest tribe in the city, we see them tomorrow. Today is all about different village of melpa people.

At the Mogi village – awesome tribe walk through. The moment I arrived at their village I was greeted by an older woman she wanted to give me a hug. She was nice and thanked me for visiting their village and chatted with me a few minutes. More and more kids came out to see me and I said hello in their language \”mornin\” and shook their hands. Then I started walking through their village I saw their farms. Each farm had multiple vegetables and fruits which included the popular sweet potato which they called Oka.
As I walked around more and more children started following me, they were all curious to see who I was and what I did. Every time that I started walking again I announced \”Badem\”, which means let\’s go. That invited them to walk with me. There were so many kids following me that I decided to take a selfie with them. they were so excited to see what they looked like in my phone. I got them to make a silly face some of them obviously had betel nut which was obvious by their red mouths.
Then I stopped off for some local coffee I got a brand called Kongo coffee, which was pretty good. since I was told at Rhondon Ridge to drink a lot of liquid I had to pee a lot which we quickly dubbed \”the bushes\”. it must not have been too frequent a request because both my driver and my guide also needed to \”visit the bushes\” at the same times.
I learned that this valley area is called the waghi valley because of the river that runs through it which is called waghi river.
Next tribe visit, the nokopa tribe. They have alliances with the mogi tribes.
In kait village, saw spirit dance. This dance involves six boys each of them in our own outfits that had caraway feathers on their hats of different shapes and colors. behind the bushes they stomp their feet and made lots of noise which was actually a little scary to hear but I knew that they were demonstrating an older tradition. After they stomped they first ran around in pairs of twos holding on to a long green stick of some kind. David\’s twice and then they ran around again twice in pairs just showing off their outfits. They repeated this three more times. It was interesting to watch an and to learn about their culture. Since this is a demonstration I learned that previously this was done with 40 or more people at a time which would make the stomping much more scary for young ones like my guy who is young when they actually did this tradition.
After it was over my guy told me about the outfits with her all made from natural materials found in the jungle and then the leader of the six boys who seem to be the youngest said something in their native tongue. My guy translated this to mean thank you for coming from the United States to Papua New Guinea to come see us we appreciate you spending the time and money to come to Papua New Guinea and tell others to come.
I said simply \”Angay mam\” which means thank you very much in their native tongue.
Then we had lunch in a lovely open air location that was built for us. It was made of wood, it had a table and there was a long hallway to get there. It was easily exposed to the elements but luckily it was a nice day. The lunch that was packed for us was fine.
In the mem village, same tribe but a different village, we watched a courtship demonstration. Demonstration involved a group of boys sitting next to a girl singing in their language. My guy explained during courtship The boys and girls are sitting next to one another in these hots The boy sings to girls and they spend time together what\’s the presence of a female adult. later that day The girls and boys go back home and the woman makes lunch for everyone. Then the returns of the hut and continue to chat and sing back and forth. After about a week of doing this they tried to pair up the kids for marriage.
It was interesting, the clothing was interesting and it was explained by my guide. but something I found interesting was the bow and arrow that one of the boys held. I asked questions about it The string for the bows seem to be a solid piece of wood. But as I learned it was actually quite flexible but not too flexible. The arrows are made fully out of wood with bamboo as the back and a different kind of wood as the pointy end.
After the courtship demonstration I saw how the tribe made Oka, sweet potato in their huts.
Then I saw what they were trying to sell. The tribe spent some time with me explaining the bow and arrows and even demonstrating it. Looking over what they had on the cloth laid out I knew I wanted to buy something simply you support the tribe. I opted for the small bow and I asked if there were any arrows for it. They said that one boy broke the arrow. I said I would purchase it anyway The cost was $15 Kina which is about $5. I figured it was a no brainer I said yes I would purchase it.
The lead boy was adamant that he wanted to make me two arrows for the bow. and he was busy negotiating with my guide about how to pick it up. And they were talking to me about the logistics whether they can drop it off with me at the airport.
personally I found the whole thing ridiculous so $5 bow I\’m fine without the arrow but I wanted to respect them. really though the bow did not appear to be anything special. They wanted to take their time to provide me with the small arrows for the small bow which I would never use and making arrangements for an inconvenient pick up location for the tribe. All for $5. The inconvenience of it all seems ridiculous to me but again it was something that the leader was proud of and wanted to do. So I gave him the 15 Kina ($5 usd) and I told them to hold on to the bow. I figure that if I don\’t get the bow and I gave him 15 Kina that that would be fine. We will see.
After that is about it 3:30 and I was told by my drivers have that there were no other stops for the day. I asked my guide privately how working for the company was. He said the pay is very low and told me how much he made per hour. I asked if adding an additional hour would help. He said yes. So I said let\’s get three beers one for each of us I\’ll pay. So I bought the beer and we hung out for a little bit and then they drove me back to my hotel. I went into a true Papua New Guinea pub which I can admit I was not comfortable in. We left shortly after we arrived and my guide was with me for the very brief period of time that we were in there.
Back to the hotel, I washed up and relaxed. Then figured out how to get this blog stuff to upload.
Dinner – another excellent meal. They\’re are no menus you just eat what they bring you.
After dinner I went to sleep at 10pm.