Thursday, December 6, 2007

Whip Dance

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.


Marcel said...

Way cool photos! All of them.

Bob Crowe said...

OMG these are good. The first one is frightening. The second is quite ironic: the man is far removed from what many of us think of as civilization but there's just that bit of a 21st Century automobile intruding. Nice work.

Anonymous said...

This actually made chills run up and down my back as my mother used to whip me with a limb from our peach tree. Usually across bare legs in the summer or across my back -- whichever she could reach. Damn that really hurts and I don't like the picture as it brings back lots of bad memories. Sorry. LOL

Joy said...

A bit scary... But if the locals find it getting whipped fun, then hey! Good for them! :D

May I invite you to visit my blogs? Just click on the links below please. :D

Norwich Daily Photo
The Goddess In You
Your Love Coach

dive said...

Wow, Jules!
All we get on the country roads round here are old people in caravans. We need some of your whip men to drive them away.
Oh, and Joy's blogs are fun … I recommend them.

Donna said...

Just don't You go jumping in there for a spanking little Girl!! Lol
Still having fun, I see!!! Good for you!

quintarantino said...

Those are some awesome photos, Jules. Odd, but showing us traditional ways down there.
Loved that.
Thank´s for visiting

Bergson said...

it has a tie or it is painted

Superb dancer!!

there are festivals all the time

Bobby D. said...

Beautiful--to capture all these traditions/ rituals.
great photos, the first one scared me.

dr. filomena said...

Whoops... spooky!!!
But way cool :)
Thanks for these, Jules!
I finally published some pics from Ljubljana again... you're most welcome to drop by... very different over here from your place... I drove to the seaside (our Mediterranean) today just to see some sunshine :-)
Will try to publish a few pics, maybe tomorrow...

photowannabe said...

Too scary for me but thanks for the interesting and informative shots of a world that seems so foreign to what i see as I look out our window.

Unknown said...

Hi All

Abraham - I can't imagine you doing anything that would warrant a thrashing - you are such a good boy!!!!

Joy - maybe in your blog The Love Coach you could highlight this - smacking might be fun!!!

Donna - no chance of me jumping in there - not into pain!!

imac said...

Post and photos , really enjoyed this.

The story continues in my blog.

david mcmahon said...

Lovely work, Jules. I heartily endorse the fact that you always have your camera with you.

So, who were the other three gorgeous girls?

• Eliane • said...

Wow, such an interesting post. I loved learning about all this. Amazing pictures.

Jilly said...

Well, so that's what you get up to on PNG afternoon outings.

What fabulous photographs. The body paint and costumes are just fabulous. I wonder why they'd do a Whip Dance at a school graduation?

I love all the photos, but particularly the first one. That guy has fabulous eyes and such an intense look.

Chuckeroon said...

....hmmm, this rather puts my today's "nymph feeding horse" into a different league.

Great snaps, J. Greetings as usual.

dive said...

Me again, Jules. It's Friday night here and my earthquake pinger just went off and announced a 4.5 magnitude quake on your doorstep.
Are you okay? Or is it just another day for you?
Don't ask why I have an earthquake alert; I'm just odd that way …

Jules said...

Dave - you are a tease!!! The 4 girls i am talking about are my 2 daughters and 2 friends!!! it is amazing how they have stopped the traffic this week!!!!

Dive - well you know more than I do - the earth didn't move here last night - although 4.5 is hardly earth-moving when 6 or 7 is the norm!! Size does matter here in PNG!!!!

ro_pumpkin said...

fantastic !!! the pictures and the whole post . it's like a cool documentary . great ! thanks .