Papua New Guinea Photo Gallery

Papua New Guinea is the eastern half of the island of New Guinea and its offshore islands. The capital is Port Moresby, on the southeast coast. PNG is the world's third largest island country and is one of the most culturally diverse countries in the world. 851 known languages are spoken by hundreds of ethnic groups. PNG is a member of the British Commonwealth. The mountainous New Guinea Highlands run the length of the island from west to east. There are many active volcanoes with frequent eruptions and earthquakes. We first visited PNG in December, 1989.

Mendi is the provincial capital of the Southern Highlands Province. The town lies in the Mendi River Valley at an elevation of 1675 meters.

Mendi villagers

Tari is the capital of the Tari-Pori District of Hela Province, and is accessible by road from Mendi.

Tari store Tari market

The local people are Huli, one of the largest ethnic groups in PNG.

Huli woman Huli woman Huli dancers Huli bowman Huli men with wigs Huli village men

Huli men wear elaborate headresses made of their own hair. These "Huli wigmen" often incorporate flowers, feathers, tree kangaroo fur, and butterflies into their wigs.

Huli wigman Huli wigman Huli man Huli wigman Huli manHuli wigman Huli wigman Huli wigman Huli man Huli man Huli wigman Huli man

The Huli build raised tombs for their ancestors, called "spirit houses". The skulls are often decorated. "Spirit stones" are also decorated and stored in raised shrines.

Huli cemetary spirit stones

Mount Hagen, located in the Wahgi Valley, is the third largest city in PNG and is the capital of the Western Highlands Province.

Wahgi Valley Mt. Hagen market farmlands farm women

The Highlands Highway connects Mount Hagen to the coastal cities of Lae and Madang.

Highlands Highway sign bridge on Highlands Highway

The city is named for an old eroded volcano crater about 24 km to the NW, which in turn was named for a German colonial officer, Curt von Hagen.


A sing-sing is a village tribal gathering where people can show off their distinct culture, dance, and music.

men at sing-sing women at sing-sing sing-sing men sing-sing man headress sing-sing young man crowd at sing-sing

A pig-swap is a bride-price negotiation, mostly to be paid in pigs. Cassowaries may be included in the price as well. This bride, in dark blue seated at the left next to her female relative behind the yellow cloth on the ground, is not commanding a high price to be paid to her family because she is an orphan.

pig swap

Goroka is the capital of the Eastern Highlands Province. Coffee is the main crop grown here.

Goroka flower headresses village

Tree kangaroos are kept for their fur.

tree kangaroo

The Asaro mud men (also called Holosa) wear traditional costumes with mud masks. They live in the area around Goroka.

mud man mud man Asaro mother and child

mud man Asaro couple miudmen Asaro people

Lae is the captial of Morobe Province and is PNG's second largest city. It is located near the delta of the Markham River and the start of the Highlands Highway.

New Britain Island is the largest island in the Bismarck Archipelago of PNG. The main towns are Rabaul/Kokopo and Kimbe. There are many active volcanoes. A major eruption of Tavurvur in 1994 destroyed Rabaul, most of which is still buried under volcanic ash, and the provincial capital of East New Britain was moved to Kokopo. Kimbe is the capital of West New Britain and is PNG's largest port. It is the center of the palm oil industry.

outrigger canoe volcanoes mangrove oil palms WW II airplane wreck WW II airplane wreck airplane wreck

diving New Britain Island

We returned to Papua New Guinea in November-December of 2000 for a combined ham radio and scuba diving trip.



Walindi Plantation

Star Dancer

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Last modified 29 February 2024