Papua New Guinea 1989

One of the greatest privileges of my life was the opportunity to roam for a few days in the highlands of Papua New Guinea with Australian photographer Jon Love, a helicopter and pilot at our disposal. Working on a corporate project, Jon was the image guy, of course, and I was the word guy and project manager. We were based in Mount Hagen in a lodge surrounded by a guarded chain-link fence with barbed wire, and guard dogs that barked all night. But in our spare time we roamed to places we were discouraged from visiting and took what the locals call “snaps” for our own portfolios. We both enjoyed meeting the people we found there, and neither of us felt fear. I learned a lot from my travels with professional photographers, and Jon has given me permission to use his images as well as mine. I have indicated those that are his, and he holds the copyright to them.

Papua New Guinea women with piglets
Jon Love photo. Piglets are valuable and indicate status. The women care for and nurse them as though they are children.


Jon Love photographs children
Jon gets a photo of children.


Boys House Highlands Papua New Guinea
Jon Love photo. These children seem much less happy than the ones above. I hope all are well.


woman smiling Papua New Guinea
Woman was ticked by the idea of being photographed


Women with cabbage Papua New Guinea
Lovely Jon Love image. Young women going to or coming from market with a cabbage.


Mel Pine Highlands Papua New Gunea
Jon Love photo. That’s a much younger, thinner and more vigorous me with the camera. We were in the mountains, at about 10,000 feet.


Darts Mount Hagen Papua New Guinea
Darts is the local game.


Man Necklace Papua New Guinea
This man offered me his kina-shell necklace, but somehow I misunderstood the terms of the trade he wanted to make, and I disappointed him. We didn’t understand each other’s cultural cues, and he left with a tear in his eye.

Copyright 2015 © Mel Harkrader Pine

2 Comments Add yours

  1. JoHanna Massey says:

    Enjoyed these photos. I found it refreshing to see you included the ‘unhappy ‘ children. So often those photos are never seen.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Roan Kirby says:

    Thank you for posting these photos. My father was a soldier in WWII and spent most of his time in New Guinea. His photos and yours show a part of our planet and people that is hardly ever seen or heard.. It is a big planet, but a small world.

    Liked by 1 person

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