Papua New Guinea's Chief Minister, Mr Michael Somare, recently took a break from the pressures of political life in Port Moresby to return to his native village of Karau in the Murik Lakes region of Papua New Guinea.
Somare out of light plane
Children looking on
Sign on River Truck Angoram
Somare into River Truck and away (3 shots)
Boys in canoe
River Truck along Sepik River (5 shots)
Karau village with VHF mast on Somare's home
Boy with coca-cola can
Somare out of River Truck
Bogeymen chasing boys (4 shots)
Baskot-ball in progress (4 shots)
Somare being interviewed by Margaret Kirkwood (2 shots)
Overlay shots of Somare interviewing uncle and village elders(2)
Interview with Somare in progress
overlay shots of bogeymen (5)
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Background: Papua New Guinea's Chief Minister, Mr Michael Somare, recently took a break from the pressures of political life in Port Moresby to return to his native village of Karau in the Murik Lakes region of Papua New Guinea.
Apart from relaxation, the main purpose of Mr. Somare's trip was to gather material for his autobiography, which he hopes to have published to coincide with independence - scheduled for December 1st this year.
The autobiography will cover his Catholic mission schooling, his careers as a teacher and radio journalist and his political activity and subsequent elevation to head of state. However, he also intends devoting attention to the influences he felt from his family and his clan life in the Murik Lakes Region.
In January of this year Mr Somare was inducted as clan chief, in succession to his uncle Saub. And while he was in Karau he spent much time with his uncle recording the old man's unique knowledge of clan rites, customs and ceremonies on a cassette recorder.
In Karau and other Murik lake villages the traditions of the past still survive and play a genuine and significant part in the every day lives of the villagers. However, outside influences are making an impact. Children drink cans of Coca-Cola whilst others play basket-ball. On the other hand older traditions still persist. Whilst Mr Somare was visiting Karau there were periodic raids from bogeymen (called Dimboin), dressed in long grass and fishlike masks, wielding spears and poles. The bogeymen chase children and adults back in to their huts as a symbolic warning not to steal the cocanuts growing in the village. The crop has not yet recovered from the lavish feastings during Mr Somare's induction and many will be required for a women's initiation ceremony planned for the near future. The bogeymen raids continue over a period of several months, and although the village children are not actually frightened they do respect the tabes against stealing the cocanuts.
Conscious of the changes that are taking place in traditional village life the Chief Minister is anxious to research and record as much as he can before the old ways disappear forever.