Faces of Goroka 20: A Jolly Bushman

Goroka Show

Faces of Goroka: A Jolly Bushman / Jessie T. Ponce Photography / September 2015

This series features the various costumes, headdresses, masks, body paints and ornaments and the authentic Papua New Guinean tribesmen, women and children who wore them during the 2015 Goroka Show.  Touted as “the most colorful show on earth”, the Goroka Show is celebrated around the 11th to 14th of September and participated in year after year by around a hundred “sing-sing” (traditional song and dance) groups representing various ethnic tribes coming from all over the Eastern Highlands and nearby provinces.  The traditional costume being worn by an individual is often distinct to his/her tribe and distinguishes his/her group from the other participants.

Goroka Show

Goroka Show: A Jolly Bushman / Jessie T.. Ponce Photography / September 2015

This bushman, one of the hundreds participating in the Goroka Show, had no complaints when I asked him for a photograph.  However, after seeing my initial shots on the camera screen, he did not seem satisfied and then, from out of nowhere, he pulled out this fancy oversized sunglasses and posed with it.  I quickly clicked a shot before he could hide it to rejoin his sing-sing group.  I would have concluded that the show has become too commercialized had he name-dropped Oakley or RayBan.