Tribal dawn ritual of Kinavai

PhotographerKathleen Prior
PrizeHonorable Mention
Entry Description

Kinavai is a spiritual ritual and dance performed by the Tolai people in Papua New Guinea. It represents their journey across the ocean to New Britain island. Taking place as dawn breaks, the feared he "dukduks" and "tumbuans" (masked forest spirits) arrive from the ocean. Boys are presented by their mothers as an initiation into manhood. Their bodies are daubed with red ochre and lime power to protect them from the incarnated spirits. The event opens a day of ceremonial dancing and rituals in the town of Kokopo.