Papua New Guinea drums and dancers in traditional costumes

Kokoda Trail, World War II

Owen Stanley Range, new Guinea. Wounded Australians being carried on stretches
out of forward battle areas through a mountain stream by native bearers
(Fuzy Wuzzy Angels), during World War II.

Observations by an Australian Soldier

When you climb the Kokoda Trail ample time is accorded you to observe the descendants of the fuzzy wuzzy angels. The first observation is their sure-footedness. When you fall, they stroll behind or turn around to inspect the damage. Times change. Many carriers now wear quality trekking boots, although a number are bare footed. Their judgment of a step or a slippery tree root or a narrow, slippery log river crossing is uncanny. Your relative clumsiness does amuse them to a degree, particularly when they note the Caucasian's multitude of gear, both in terms of its variety and sophistication.

Their reserves of energy seem endless. No ascent or corresponding descent appears to unduly trouble them. 'Forward is good' becomes a quiet, subconscious and recurring theme for each day's climbing. Brief and welcome interludes occur when a difficult rise or fall is encountered. And with those geographical obstacles comes the obvious question: How in God's name does one - and the other three people carrying this imaginary stretcher - keep it horizontal? How does one negotiate the really rough spots with a portion of a man's dead weight on your shoulders and still synchronize one's movement over this terrain with three other carriers? How did they cross a stream with the encumbrance of a stretcher when you are slowly and painstakingly inching your way across hanging on to a rope-rail that is being held by a carrier from either side of the river?


A typical Kokoda Trail village - Eora Creek

Historical and Cultural image available upon request only

Papua New Guinea women

Papua New Guinea traditional attire, 1904

Papua New Guinea village, 1904

Papua New Guinea pipe band

Rabaul, PNG, 1913

Cultural and historical images available upon request only

Papua New Guinea ladies in traditional dancing costumes

Papua New Guinea Postcards 15


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 (E-mail: -- Rev. 9th April 2012)