National Geographic : 1972 Jan
Melanesian beauty, the daughter of Big Namba Chief Virhambat shreds green pan danus leaves for a wig and skirt. Her come liness has drawn the attention of many suitors, who have pressed her father to name her bride-price-how many pigs he will require for her hand. Like stage performers, Big Namba danc ers engage in last-minute makeup (opposite page). Man at center holds a mirror backed with the photograph of a movie star; he probably purchased it in a plantation store. Many Big Nambas work at intervals for coastal copra planters. Privacy is a wife's privilege: Each spouse of a Big Namba chief occupies her own cot tage in his compound (below). Bins rising on stilts hold yams and starchy taro root.