Living Theater In New Guinea's Highlands

Antropologist Gillian Gillison and her photographer husband, David, document the complexe yet ephemeral performances of a people who use the dramatic arts to record and describe their lives.

The performer is one of some 10,000 Gimi-speaking people in the Eastern Highlands of Papua New Guinea, and the Gimis represent one of more than 700 language groups in the New Guinea archipelago.

Women give the night's first performances: five- to ten-minute portrayals of rivers, wild taro, bandicoots- fastmoving or abundant things of the forest floor that symbolize the fertility of premordial women.

Before marriage and society existed, Gimi myths say, women had easy access to the rain forest, the source of all reproductive power. They did not need husbands to hunt game or to help bear children. Original women had male qualities, animals once were humanlike, and forest and settlement on were indistinguishable. But men began to fight among themselves, creating divisions in the world. Now the sexes are separate and live in hamlets fenced off from the forest. Now men own the game, father children, and dominate their wives.

Photo tirée de la revue National Géographic, Vol. 164, no.2 August 1983 en page 147 et tirée du reportage "Living Theater In New Guinea's Highlands

Photo d'une femme prise sur ce site web

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Un guide sur la Nouvelle Guinée Papua
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