National Geographic : 1949 Dec
Ballroom Dancing: Cheek to Cheek, Nose to Nose Kudgil and Mus, sitting on a floor and swaying in ecstasy, per form the kanana, the valley's only mixed dance. Throughout the long night its movements never vary, and its orchestra music, compounded of drumbeats and chants, repeats itself monoto nously. A society matron has called these young people together in her firelit home. As their chaperon, she keeps a sharp eye on every action. She is vigilant to see that men and women change between dances, for steady partnerships she considers shocking. In fact, she is offended by some polite conventions of white society. Naturally, she thinks it proper for married men to dance with single girls, for polygamy is the rule. Here in a smoky, firelit room, eyes glitter, heads roll, and stick in-nose sometimes presses against shell-in-nose. The party will con tinue until hostess or dancers are exhausted. Thus does boy meet girl in New Guinea. Ned Blood from Camera Clix "West" Is "East's" Brother Beneath Painted Skin Wi, who helped to build the Bloods' home, fancies Western dress. Kalana, his brother, favors conservative stick-in-nose and kunai-grass bonnet. They have this in common: both use dad's paint pot. In Nondugl, adolescent boys like Wi and Kalana sleep in a dormitory separate from the family's. They meet prospective brides at dances like the one above. Marriages are arranged by parents, whose major considera tion is the dowry. Except in cases of unusual affluence, the price of a bride has been four to six pigs or an equal number of pearl-shell plates. Sheep appear certain to figure in future marriage con tracts. Once married, the bride lives with her in-laws until the hus band builds a home. Such a house requires no 20-year mortgage; the only expense is two or three days' labor.