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August 8, 2022

Beautiful Photos Capture Everyday Life of Papua New Guinea in the Early 1970s

Papua New Guinea is a country in Oceania that comprises the eastern half of the island of New Guinea and its offshore islands in Melanesia (a region of the southwestern Pacific Ocean north of Australia). Its capital, located along its southeastern coast, is Port Moresby. The country is the world’s third largest island country with an area of 462,840 km2 (178,700 sq mi).

Papua New Guinea is one of the most linguistically diverse countries in the world. There are 851 known languages in the country, of which 11 now have no known speakers. As of 2019, it is also the most rural, as only 13.25% of its people live in urban centers. Most of the population of more than 8,000,000 people live in customary communities. The country is believed to be the home of many undocumented species of plants and animals.

Papua New Guinea has been an observer state in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) since 1976, and has filed its application for full membership status. It is a full member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Pacific Community, and the Pacific Islands Forum.

These beautiful photos were taken by American Lutheran missionary Leon Philippi that documented everyday life of Papua New Guinea in the early 1970s.

(Photo © Leon Philippi)


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