Photographer Captures Incredible Photos of Native and Modern Cultures of Papua New Guinea

Photographer Captures Incredible Photos of Native and Modern Cultures of Papua New Guinea

Known for his lifelong commercial work as a celebrity and portrait photographer, Sandro Miller (who goes simply by "Sandro") recently captured an amazing set of photographs that show the range of modern and traditional, native cultures of Papua New Guinea.

Published in an article by Smithsonian magazine, the images in Sandro's recent series show both multiple sides to an ancient tropic. In Port Moresby, the country's capital, a variety of street crimes are not uncommon. Sandro photographed some of these young men who take on crime as work alongside Papua New Guinea's more traditional people who came in from around the country to display their various native dress, each unique to the particular village from where they came, during a three-day festival known as the Goroka Show.

Images and captions by Sandro and Smithsonian: Hodley Nau, 20, shows off initiation scars that resemble the ridges on the back of a crocodile. The scars, which represent the Sepik people’s reverence for the river creature, run from the shoulder to the hip and are made by rubbing ash into fresh cuts. Hodley wears foliage briefs known locally as “arse grass.”

The following photographs are from this series that displays everything from white-painted bodies and tribal-scarred backs of Papua New Guinea's native culture to the "raskols" who commit common street crimes as a living in the capital city. See the rest of the series in the full Smithsonian article.

Images and captions used with permission.

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1 Comment

Allen Morris's picture

This is a good example of when captions are helpful to enhance a photograph and put it in context. The portraits are stunning on their own (the close up of the man with red, white, and yellow faceprint is breathtaking), but knowing about the Goroka Festival and the reason why they have decided to appear in their traditional style gives the subjects far more depth and complexity.

These aren't just interesting and different looking people; they are active and knowing participants in the continuation of their indigenous culture. Timeless and modern all in one.

Love it.