Tag Archives: Papua New Guinea people

Hot Day – A Watercolour Study

Hot Day – Watercolour JK.Leahy

JK.Leahy© watercolour. January, 2016.

“Hot Day”. A study of a Papua New Guinean child on a hot day. I enjoy painting the most when it is unplanned and I use watercolour loosely until the image shows up.


Beetles in Tribal Fashion

Culture and Heritage

The Guardian Picture: In 2009, the crater of the extinct volcano Mount Bosavi, in the Eastern Highlands Province, PNG was found. The green beetle pictured was one amongst many species discovered, except that this specie is iridescent.

The green beetle is one of my favourites and the insect possesses a beautiful rainbow shine. The beetles come out in millions during fruit seasons. In Papua New Guinea beetles are eaten as food, but the green beetle is so beautiful that tribal dancers use the insect as part of their fashion. The fashion or their traditional dress, especially headbands and headdresses are worn in singsings. A singsing is a performance of song and dance by a group and it is one of many living rituals, handed down through generations.

An Eastern Highlander (PNG) spotting a row of green beetle in his headdress. The beetles are woven intricately into the golden orchid fibre in diamond patterns.

I have seen the beetles myself in Goroka, Eastern Highlands Province and found these ones on headdresses in Simbai, Madang Province, which prompted this post.

Simbai tribesmen (Madang, Papua New Guinea) wearing their fashionable head wigs made from the green beetle.

Intriguing Wonders of Melanesian People

There is a term I heard when I was growing up. It was “yellow-top”. It was also called “blondie top”. I have heard people from mine and other provinces used this term in Papua New Guinea to refer to East New Britain and New Irelanders. It was not meant to be derogatory in any way; people from these places had natural blonde hair. This ‘look’ is found in many other Melanesian populations across the Pacific. I guess this blonde look on black skin has intrigued other races but to us (Melanesians), it is quite normal.

I accidentally found this video on YouTube and I wanted to share it. I found some of the narration quite amusing, especially in the pronunciation and arguments about the races/genes that could have contributed to the hair colour. The study was interesting.


In the next video, as it is Christmas Eve, I wanted to share some gospel music from the Melanesia. As majority of our people have followed Christianity, these songs are for worshipping. The Melanesian Choirs (Solomon Islands) sung these songs in the movie, The Thin Red Line.

This choir and the songs remind me of Christmas and my childhood memories. I miss those days when I spent Christmas with my mother, grandmother and aunts, and we would sing. It is this time that I remember all these amazing women, some gone and some afar, that love to sing their hearts out. I hope you enjoy the choir.

I wish you all a wonderful Christmas!