The Passion of Autumn – Passion fruit flowers with fruits
After the recent rains, we have a high yield of passion fruit, both flowers and fruit arriving rapidly this season, and just before we go into winter. When the fruit of passion arrives, there is always a party in my backyard for many living things. The vines have completely taken over a pepper tree and all insects and animals are helping themselves to the nectar of the intoxicating beautiful flowers and green fruits. Hopefully there will be some left to ripen for the bats, possums and my family to enjoy in winter.
Hanuabada Outskirts watercolour is completed. I have decided not to put in any more houses. It was interesting when painting and looking at the original reference picture below (taken by My Place Allen) that I discovered people inside some of the houses. Apart from the lady in the foreground, I captured a man sitting under the clothesline in the background, but I left out a few people in the middle houses. Yes…this could be a story.
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Hanuabada Village outskirts, Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.
I have been wanting to paint these houses on stilts for a long time. Several villages in PNG have houses on stilts including Hanuabada, the largest village in the capital.
Although the area I am studying is quite large, I singled out a few houses on the outskirts that villagers painted with some of my favourite colours.
I hope to finish the painting this weekend.
Tell me of you like these work in progress shots.
A serious moment for this young Kalam warrior, from Simbai, Madang Province, Papua New Guinea. Kalam people are famous for the exquisite green fruit beetle headdresses.
Hi Tribalmystic friends and family,
I am painting more watercolours and that’s why I’ve been silent on this blog. It feels like I’m telling a story in a different way and this is very fulfilling. I have a few assignments to finish but I wanted to share one of these ‘stories’. Here I am working through an artwork of a young woman from Simbu, Papua New Guinea. I love her headdress and feathers. Birds are interesting and amazing creatures, but when you paint so many bird feathers, it is quite challenging. And because I love lorikeets and have raised them – there is the guilt …of the dead birds, but there’s another story – culture, nature conflict…
Anyway, I think I have almost got the Kina shells right, but the challenge of the feathers takes time. It also gives me more pleasure to learn and practice. Google Papua New Guinea culture if you want to see some real headdresses of fantastic colours, shapes and feathers.
I hope you like Meri Simbu II. I painted Meri Simbu the first six years ago and due to her popularity, it was no surprise when a client asked me for a new version. Meri Simbu II is about 800+mmx1200+ big, so I have to do small sections and pay attention to the details at the same time. The first Meri Simbu was no larger than an A4 paper size.
I will be back to stories soon. Thank you for continuing to visit the Tribalmystic blog and thank you to all those who have emailed personally me and for the birthday wishes for today.
This is a work in progress. Old man from Simbu, Papua New Guinea is a painting challenge to myself to paint larger (work) with better light and skin tone. I love the traditional dresses and particularly the headdresses from Simbu, a highlands province that is very rich in culture. I painted a young woman from Simbu a few years ago and was asked, why haven’t I painted a male from the same area. Good question. I had never thought of it. So I picked up the brush, filled the re-cycled jars with water…and, am still working on the old man from Simbu.
I found this exercise exhilarating because to get the painted black face separated from his normal brown skin and give him a background – all in dark colours was tricky. I hope you like him.
Is the word ‘sorceress’ or ‘sorcerer’ only used for the bad spells or bad medicine-making? Over to you first English speakers. Feel free to make your comments below. I had this word come up last September when I was applying for a PhD. My watercolour above is meant for good medicine. So, if you are facing some challenging times right now, I am sending you some good medicine and thoughts.
My mother and I made a list of many good indigenous or traditional medicine our people (the Bukawac-speakers) have used over the years. We both realised, a lot of the trees and special plants have been lost. To get some, our family and people have to purchase or travel to other parts of the province and sub-district to purchase or ‘borrow’ or get in exchange (barter-system) for other goods. Traditional healing using herbs and other good medicine (as I call it) is still a common practice in many parts of Papua New Guinea.
The Hiri Queen. JK.Leahy Watercolour
The crowning of the Hiri Hanenamo Queen is an annual event in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. The contest is run to coincide with the PNG Independence celebrations. Above is my own interpretation of the queen. I enjoy this contest and the festival itself and am very proud of the Motuans for continuing to reinforce their heritage to their young women.
In 2016, Olive Tau was crowned as 2016 Miss Hiri Hanenamo Queen followed by her Runner- up Boni Bitu from Porebada village.
In third place and taking the Miss Hetura for 2016 was Maha Asi from Tubuserea village. See their pictures below courtesy of Loop PNG.
Hiri Trade – Adventure Kokoda
The Hiri Trade expedition was between the Motuan and the Erema (Gulf) people in the Gulf of Papua. This is a form of barter trade where the Motuans traded clay pots for sago with villagers along the Gulf coastline.
The Motuan (men) sailed westwards during the south-easterly winds known locally as the “Lahara winds”. After the trade, they returned when the winds changed eastwards. These winds are called the “Laurabada winds”.
According to oral history, the first sailing trip was led by an Edai Siabo of Boera village. Siabo was said to be inspired by a sea spirit after a fishing trip. With this inspiration, he and his henchman built a lagatoi (double hulled canoe) and made the first trip to the Gulf coastline.
This trip and subsequent trips were necessary because during these times there was usually drought along the Motuan coastline. Return trips brought a bountiful of sago to last throughout this drought. The actual trade would take only a few days however the return trip usually took place after 2 to 3 months.
During this long wait repairs are done on the canoes and relationships are strengthened among the traders. As a result of this long period of time away from home, it causes uncertainty back home – resulting in wives and partners of crew members re-marrying.
The return trips are usually arduous and dangerous as the wet winds brings with it storms. Lives are often lost also during these trips.
The last of such trading trips was in the late 1950’s where a Lagatoi sank just off the coast of Boera village. Several lives were lost in this mishap.
The colonial administration then banned trading trips as such. Today access to better transport system such as motor boats, airplanes and road links also contributed to the end of such trips.
What Hiri Hanenamo means.
Hanenamo is a young woman who display the right attitude, manners and behaviour and whose character is respectful of the such title. She observes the rules, norms and laws of her society bringing happiness to her family.
It is from this original concept that the modern-day Hiri Hanenamo (Queen) competition is derived from. In fact the wife of the first Hiri pioneer Edai Siabo was the first Hiri Hanenamo for her display of commitment and dedication to the rituals vital to ensuring a successful Hiri Trading voyage.
Hiri Hanenamo is not attributed to beauty alone; beauty is only one aspect of being a Hiri queen. Elegance and grace in carrying out duties and performances are also considered. Approval and appraisal by village elders honour such a person.
Today many of these components of village life are taken into consideration by the judges during the Hiri Hanenamo Quest staged during the festivities.
A young girl is declared Hiri Hanenamo if she can display the appropriate traditional qualities to the judges. In addition, authentic tattoo designs, bodily decoration and ornaments according to the background of the woman’s village is also taken into accounts.
Hiri – Trading route and voyage taken by the Motuan sailors.
Moale – Motuan word for celebration, happiness or joy
Hanenamo – A young Motuan woman who abides by all customary expectations within the community she resides in.