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The Journey to Paradise Photos of great cultural and natural beauties of Papua New Guinea

 
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Old 14-05-2003, 11:09 PM
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'From the rainforest, for the rainforest'

The artisans of the Crater Mountain Wildlife Management Area (CMWMA) produce a wonderful range of artifacts.

Natural products are used throughout to construct and color each item in order that Crater artifacts maintain their true rainforest heritage.

An example of this tradition is the wooden cooking bowl hanging from a wall (pictured).

Mumu bowls (known by the Gimi people of Crater as usi) are used to hold food when it is removed from a traditional earth oven.

Wooden mumu bowl, known as usi by the Gimi people of Crater :
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Old 14-05-2003, 11:12 PM
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Apart from mumu bowls the Crater Mountain area is well known for its colourful bilums, (carrying bags) artisans from various villages across the WMA also produce shields, arrows and woven belts and baskets.

Bilums in a CMWMA store :
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Old 14-05-2003, 11:14 PM
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Support for local artisans in The Crater Mountain Wildlife Management Area by RCF

The Research and Conservation Foundation (Goroka-based NGO–Non Government Organization) has been working with the men and women of the Crater Mountain Wildlife Management Area to help develop environmentally sound businesses within the WMA.

Beside the production of artifacts based on sustainable use of local resources, the landowners are engaged in eco-tourism, support for zoological and botanical research with its attendant construction and maintenance of research sites.

These businesses form an important part of RCF's integrated approach to conservation.

Haia arm band on a visitor :
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Old 14-05-2003, 11:18 PM
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The RCF firmly believes that the conservation of plants and animals in Papua New Guinea cannot be conducted in isolation, and that income from these eco-enterprises offers a long-term alternative to income derived from logging or mining.

Therefore the work being conducted wait the area has taken to form of an ICAD (Integrated Conservation and Development) Project.

Artifacts produced within Crater reflect this integrated approach to conservation and development as they are made entirely from natural products, using traditional methods.

Artifacts are now an important source of income for the landowners of the Crater Mountain Wildlife Management Area.
There are three artifact stores within the WMA; these are located in the villages of Maimafu, Haia and Herowana.

* Visitors to the area can shop in these artifacts stores, and also observe local artisans at work in order to get a better understanding of the special skills involved in making Crater artifacts.

*Landowners in the village of Ubaigubi, located on the northeast boundary of the CMWMA, and who own hunting land within the WMA, now operate their own independent artifact store.
Ubaigubi is not yet linked to Goroka and the rest of Crater by air.
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Old 14-05-2003, 11:21 PM
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Making bilums

Women in Crater Mountain villages continue to make traditional bilums using rope derived from plant products found in the area.

Their bilums are derived entirely from rainforest products or from plants grown in their gardens.

The fibre used to make the thread comes from the bark of a tree.
Initially the dried bark looks like stringy sections of hair, but after the women have rolled and twisted the material between their hands and thighs, it ends up as a very strong thread.

The colours in the bilums are all from natural dyes derived from flowers, leaves, berries or bark.

The colours are usually worked into the thread when the thread is being rolled on the bilum maker's thigh.

Maimafu mother making a bilum :
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Old 14-05-2003, 11:37 PM
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The Mumu, a traditional way of cooking

A mumu is a traditional way of cooking within PNG.

A large hole is dug in the ground and rocks, which have been heated on a fire, are placed in the bottom of the mumu hole and then covered with a layer of leaves.

The food, usually pig and vegetables such as corn, sweet potato, taro wrapped in fig and other leaves, is then placed on top of the heated rocks and leaves, and the hole is covered up with a thick layer of leaves and dirt.

A piece of bamboo is then used to pour water into the bottom of the pit and the food is gently steamed.

Crater shields, especially when one compares them to the armour traditionally made by the grassland communities of the Central Highlands, are small and light in weight.

They were made so in order that a warrior could move quickly through the heavy growth that surrounded Crater villages.

Unlike the semi-static battles that once occurred in the Lowlands or central Highlands, Crater warfare was mobile and free-ranging.

A heavy shield would have been a serious impediment.

This lightness, born of necessity, makes them ideal artifact purchases for anyone visiting a Crater village by plane or on foot.

As well village store keepers will gladly pack and ship your purchase(s) via one of the local air carriers–if carrying the item with you is going to interfere with your travel plans.

If your future travel includes a passage to, or through, Australia make sure that you have purchases fumigated in Port Moresby.

This is a relatively quick and efficient process, ask an RCF officer for help in this matter.

Australian quarantine laws are strict.

Also please make sure that you do not inadvertently purchase items containing local animal skins or plumes.

Not only does this defeat the purpose for which the CMWMA was established, but fines for importing products made from protected species are now heavy in many parts of the world.
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Old 14-05-2003, 11:38 PM
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For further information contact:

Research and Conservation Foundation
P.O. Box 1261, Goroka, EHP, PNG
Phone: (675) 732-3211
Fax: (675) 732-1123

Email: rcf@rcf.org.pg

Website:

www.rcf.org.pg

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