In the New Guinea highlands, over ten-thousand tribesmen re-enacted the splendour of their traditions at the biennial Mount Hagen show last month.
SV Women dancing
SV Men preparing make-up
SV PAN Tribesmen dancing
SV Man uses mirror to make up (2 shots)
SV Tribesmen dancing & beating small drums (3 shots)
SV Tribesmen marching & dancing
SV Dancers marching (2 shots)
CU Tourist looking on PAN TO dancers
CU Tribesmen with made up faces (4 shots)
GTV Ceremony and dancers in arena
Initials SGM/1245 SGM/1314
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Background: In the New Guinea highlands, over ten-thousand tribesmen re-enacted the splendour of their traditions at the biennial Mount Hagen show last month. Thousands of tourists flocked the showground to see tribal dances rarely witnessed by the outside world.
Many of the dancers, travelling from remote mountain area, had walked for days through torrential rains to attend the traditional gathering. But the rains very nearly disrupted the opening of the show. Thousands of dancers refused to perform because they feared the rain would ruin their valuable costumes of bird-of-paradise feathers. Ironically, their programm included an appeal for rain.
SYNOPSIS: Every two years, the tribes of New Guinea gather at Mount Hagen to give the outside world a rare glimpse of their spectacular tribal dances and traditions -- a heritage that is gradually shrinking before the inroads made by civilisation. First comes the application of red, yellow, black and white paint.
At any one time, there are about ten-thousand tribesmen taking part in the arena. A total of about fifty-thousand had come to the show, many of them trekking from remote areas through torrential rains.
Five inches of rain deluged the showground immediately before the opening ceremony and very nearly disrupted the tradition of centuries. Thousands of dancers refused to perform, fearing the rain would ruin their intricate and valuable costumes made from the plumage of birds-of-paradise. Fortunately, after the opening had been put back an hour, the rain stopped and the dancing started. Ironically, the programme included a ceremony of supplication for rain.
There were also traditional war dances. Later, came a day-long feast to give the tribesmen strength for their long journey home.