On the way to Rabaul the other afternoon we saw these men walking down the footpath on their way to the Kokopo High School Graduation Ceremony.
We stopped to take their photos and they honoured us by doing an impromptu demonstration of their dance - The Whip Dance. I think the sight of four gorgeous young ladies may have spurred them on!!
The whips are made from the dried and hardened stems of a large variety of ginger that grows here - see this early post of mine. The men go off into the bush for "secret-men's-business" which they say puts them into a trance. They then perform a dance during which they whip each other, all over their bodies.
The only room they had was on the road so one lane of traffic was blocked while they completed it. The wonderful thing about PNG is that this sort of thing creates not even the slightest annoyance by fellow motorists and everyone took it in a festive way, by blowing horns and calling out encouragement.
This guy is kneeling on the ground waiting to be whipped!!! The noise is unbelievable - like the sound of a traditional whip.