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Ben Cropp - The Louisiade Archipelago

Ben Cropp - The Louisiade Archipelago

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Documentary 52 minutes ~ Color


In the western islands of the Louisiade Archipelago, Ben Cropp discovers the white mans influence on the lands indigenous communities. He decides to embark further east to the remotest islands of the archipelago. At the Island of Panawina, villagers are conducting a traditional wake all in ceremonial dress. Ben has stepped back in time, and films the dances and traditional swapping of shell necklaces and ceremonial axes.

The feast needs lots of fish, and goggle divers swim down to the coral with pole hand spears. Others crush the bolau root vine gathered in the jungle, and spread this poison under coral ledges. A pile of skulls, head hunting trophies, lie in another cave. This sacred sea cave has a guardian, a 2-metre sea krait sea snake that wriggles out of the water to lay her eggs.

Moving onto the island of Sabari, another wake is in progress, the second of two wakes for a dead man. This one, two years after the death of her husband, will free the widow from her respectable period of mourning and allow her to marry again. Join Cropp as he explores these magnificent unspoilt emerald green islands, and the fascinating people that inhabit them.

Stars: Ben Cropp





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