Archive for the ‘NATJA Award’ Category

Papua New Guinea 375-001, originally uploaded by Mic2006.

I recently conducted an interview with Anne Gordon, a well known Canadian travel writer. Anne had just recently returned from Papua New Guinea and in particular, a trip up the Sepik River where she visited local tribes and learned something of the Malagan culture).

See the Papua New Guinea documentary interview with Anne Gordon here

As a travel writer Anne speaks about the benefits of belonging to NATJA and other travel organizations, the benefits such as sponsored trips and the professional development opportunities that are open for travel writing.

As Anne said, “New Guinea is undoubtedly the most exotic and fascinating place she has ever been, there are over 900 tribes scattered throughout the island and an an ecosystem that spreads both above and beneath the surface”. Many of New Guinea’s tribes maintain customs and cultures that hold a special fascination for us in the west. Head hunting and cannibalism still exist in isolated pockets and have been practised quite commonly within the last 100 years.

Anne Gordon’s interview centres around the Sepik River and the carver’s of the Malagan culture, in particular the master carvers of New Ireland, she shows many incredible pictures of the tribes in that area and the tribal culture of New Guinea.

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Iatmul Elder - Photograph by Anne Gordon

Iatmul Elder - Photograph by Anne Gordon

Pictured above is an amazing image of an Iatmul Elder as captured by Anne Gordon, one of the members of our writing co-operative – Edgehill Press. Anne received a tie in the Bronze category for ‘Special Focus Travel Articles’; her article ‘Land of the Last Frontier’, about the Sepik river and the Iatmul in Papua New Guinea was set beside Christine McBeath’s article ‘ Kickboxing in Backstreet Bangkok. Anne recently edited the book ‘Caving in Ontario; Exploring Buried Karst’.

The Iatmul live on the banks of the Sepik River, believing that their ancestors were born from a hole in the mud somewhere up river and they were washed down to their present location in an enormous flood. Life in an Iatmul village centers around the spirit house into which it is normal practice for only initiated warriors to be able to enter (under pain of death). To the Iatmul, their whole world is supposedly perched upon the back of a giant crocodile – this being said, they follow a crocodile scarification procedure that leaves a pattern on the back of the recipient that has a resemblance to crocodile skin.

Anne is a superb photographer and gifted travel writer and as NATJA say, they honor the best of the best from the travel media. Congratulations Anne. See more of Anne’s trip to New Guinea here

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