The firedancers in the first two shots 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 shot two is laboriously made from bark cloth, bamboo, and leaves, and used just once for the firedance ceremony before being thrown away or destroyed.
All photos by Taro Taylor.