Goroka Show Papua New Guinea

Photo Essay: The Goroka Show, Papua New Guinea

By: Matthew

Are you looking to see the most fantastical cultural event on the planet? If so then the Goroka Show is exactly what you are looking for. Every year in September the town of Goroka bursts at the seams, as people flood in for the event. The show consists of multiple tribes and some dance groups that come together to have a Sing Sing (dance contest). Not only is it a stunning sight to see, but you will have a chance to meet some of the friendliest people on earth. They are proud and delighted to tell you about their costumes and where they come from. It was one of the most enjoyable times we have had on our entire trip. If visiting the Goroka Show is something you think you want to do, and trust me it is, look for our follow-up article with all the info you will need.

Ever since art school, I have had mixed feelings about photographing people, whether on the street or at an event. Meeting the friendly people at the Goroka show put me at ease in a way that I have never felt. Heather and I had such a remarkable time that looking at each picture brings up distinct memories and feelings. I must warn you, it was hard to choose which photos would go in this post, so there are 40 of them. Keep an eye out for details, as there are so many. For example in the photo directly following the text, you will see a vibrantly covered headdress. Each one of those green, red and yellow sticks jetting out is a different bird. **Bird lovers I must apologize in advance**

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Comments 30

  1. Wow, this is such a great insight into an often under explored culture. You really managed to capture a glimpse into these people’s lives and the colours are just incredible. It must have been a privilege to see this in person

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  2. I don’t know what’s more fascinating: the headdresses, the face coverings or the looks in everyone’s eyes. Really amazing. And I love that photographing them was acceptable and a comfortable experience. I too struggle to photograph people in a non-intrusive way, so bravo.

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  3. The colour and vibrancy of the Goroka show comes alive through your post. The pictures are absolutely stunning and bring alive the atmosphere of the festival.

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  4. Wow! This is simply stunning photography of an amazing cultural event. How amazing that you were able to shoot this in such an intimate way. Great photography my friend.

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  5. This is so beautiful and your photographs captures the entire elegance and beauty of the occassion. I love how colourful the costumes and make up are. They are really portraying the culture and artistics aspect along with social anthropology of the place.

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  6. What amazing photos!

    I’d love to hear more about your visit to PNG, as it sadly has a bad reputation and therefore really doesn’t get all that many tourists, other than those hiking the Kokoda Track!

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