papua-new-guinea-2014-western-province-ber-boy-mother-fear-love

Many places in Papua New Guinea has never had interaction with the outside world. Still there are many people who have never seen foreigners in their life, not even from television or magazines, as electricity and press media is not available either. In one of these villages in the isolated Western Province, I found children and babies were so scared to see me, whom they call as markaii (“white man). They cried and screamed and ran away to hide as if they were seeing ghosts. Their parents told me, thirty years ago they also did the same when the Australian missionaries came for the first time. In local belief, the color of human being is black, and when someone die, his spirit will fly to the west and the color turns white. Some records say, the people of the Kiwai Islands nearby pray to the first Western explorers coming to their islands in the 19th century, as they thought that those White men were the spirits of their ancestors.

Ber, Western Province, Papua New Guinea, 2014

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