Entering The Flames

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    These firedancers belong to a Papua New Guinean tribe known as the Baining. They live on the northeastern tip of the island of New Britain which is found off the west coast of Papua New Guinea.

    The Baining tribes get their name from the Baining mountains which they inhabit. Their language is also called Baining of which their are a few different dialects. It is thought that the Baining people may have inhabited this area for thousands of years.

    The Baining are somewhat of an of an oddity amongst Melanesian cultures because they create art forms that have a very ephemeral existence. The mask you see in the picture above is laboriously made from bark cloth, bamboo and leaves and used just once for the firedance ceremony before being thrown away or destroyed.

    The origin of these firedance ceremonies was to celebrate the birth of new children; the commencement of harvests and also a way of remembering the dead. The Baining firedance is also a right of passage for initiating young men into adulthood. The fire dance is a totally male event and traditionally the Baining women and children do not take part in it or even watch it.

    Erik Charlton, φωςγραφη, and 90 other people added this photo to their favorites.

    View 9 more comments

    1. LeafCutter 71 months ago | reply

      Superb photo and a nice story to explain, thanks for sharing.

    2. Loyal Artist 69 months ago | reply


      the flames and the fire particles looks so awesome!

      greate take


    3. hyw11s 68 months ago | reply

      That's a great capture! Thanks for the story too, you definitely captured the mood.

    4. HappyTellus 68 months ago | reply

      We used this great photo in our travel destination description of Papua New Guinea at www.happytellus.com/papua-new-guinea.

    5. Tree rew 62 months ago | reply

      very nice=]

    6. Nasser` 62 months ago | reply

      An amazing photo =)

    7. urbanmanila 59 months ago | reply

      Ang ganda grabe! Great caputre! :)

    8. Román Emin 57 months ago | reply

      Wonderful! Excellent shot.

    9. Azo92 55 months ago | reply

      the flame is hypnotize...^^

    10. kashstudio.com 49 months ago | reply

      the fire is so RED

    11. RahulBworld 48 months ago | reply

      WOW. Good photo and thank you so much for the story.

    12. ohshit. 48 months ago | reply

      love your photo!

    13. F.Triff 41 months ago | reply

      I took the one and I drew on it..
      if you don´t like just send me a mail.

    14. Nico Bernal 40 months ago | reply

      inspiring man, congratulations

    15. somewhereoneaarth 40 months ago | reply

      interesting thank u never knew about them

    16. pixel.kris 39 months ago | reply

      Powerful image! great shot!

    17. Gabrielle__ 37 months ago | reply

      I really love this one!

    18. Nicky Drayden 36 months ago | reply

      Amazing photo! I used it as cover art for an ebook:

      Thanks for making it Creative Commons!

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