A Tolai Money Ring (above) denotes wealth and status in the Papua New Guinea island of East New Britain.
Beads of shells are skewered onto thin strips of cane and woven with pandanus leaf into rings – some so large 20 men are needed to pick them up. This one is worth about 1,000 kina (AUD $500) and will be held along with several much larger rings until the passing of an elder when it will be broken up and divided among family and friends.
With Tuvurvur volcano rumbling in the distance and the sun casting a golden light over the nearby waters, Lipirin Pulpulung from Matupit Village frames himself with a Tolai Money Ring for this photograph.
….I’d write more but, after a day on Pidgin Island (below), we’re heading off to photograph the elusive Baining Fire Dancers.
Yahoooo (though they’re not in front of my camera yet, he adds).