Members Night – Land and Sea

  • Jono, Fritz, Larry & Patti

By Gayle Hudson

Our second Members Night of 2018 featured presentations by Fritz Welss, Jono Dove, and Patti Baugh.

The presentations began with a video of Palau we incorrectly credited to Larry Muth; we’ll have to see Wakatobi at a future date. However, we enjoyed beautiful scenes of Palau, but just don’t know who should receive credit. Oops. After the warm, clear waters of Palau, Fritz Welss took us to Monterey with videos of the marine life we love to see on our local dives.

Ambua Lodge, Papua New Guinea

Ambua Lodge, Papua New Guinea

Jono Dove showed a slide show from a trip he, Dennis, and Patti made to Papua New Guinea. He explained that, while the people were known to the Western world for centuries, the two million+ people who lived in the highlands were not known and this was the region they toured. The highland people went undetected until they were ‘discovered’ by Australians looking for gold in the 1930s, and 852 known spoken languages have been identified among the the people of this region.

They stayed at Ambua Lodge in the Tari area and visited with several different tribes. They visited a small tribe where the men performed a spirit dance, normally performed at night, to call positive spirits to the village and ward off evil spirits. Ceremonial costumes include extensive use of bird feathers, wings, beaks, bones, and quills. This region, the Mount Hagen area, is the bread basket of Papua New Guinea – similar in productivity to the California Central Valley.

Traditionally, men and women live separately in Papua New Guinea. Women raise children, pigs, and tend to the farm while men protect the village and hunt. Polygamy is alive and well in this culture and dowries are still used today, with a bride price set by a council of elders (the bride price got out of hand during the mid-20th century and no one could afford to get married).

In the mid 1900s, evangelical missionaries came to the highlands; hence the landscape is dotted with churches. Locals are certain to share their historical and ancient culture, all the while reassuring guests that they are now Christians.

Ceremonial Costumes, Papua New Guinea

Ceremonial Costumes, Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea’s cash crop is palm oil. Vast swaths of the rain forest in the lowlands have been clear-cut in order to make more room for this product. Palm fruit is harvested every two weeks, with each tree producing several tons of fruit that may be pressed for oil. The material left over from pressing is used in biomass energy generation. Jono’s photos showed a culture still rich in tradition but coming to terms with modern influences, like cell phones.

Patti Baugh finished the presentations with a show-stopping selection of slides featuring clownfish and crustaceans. The main subjects would project out of the field, often with a black background, making the subject appear almost three dimensional. The transition from slide to slide was about as magical, yet did not distract from the subject. Patti uses Pro Show Gold to perfection!

Members Night once again showcased the talent in our club and gave many of us inspiration as we think about our photography efforts, both below and above the water.