This is the member journal of the Australian PNG veterans association (PNGAA)
BEAUTIFUL TUFI : Between the Past and the Future
By Jan Hasselberg November 09 2012
The story of the villagers of Tufi, in Oro Province of Papua New Guinea…their dramatic yesterdays, their joys and worries of today, and their expectations of tomorrow.
Luxury Travel Magazine describes this publication as "a colourful coffee table book about the people, culture and life at Tufi, Papua New Guinea.
The book paints a picture of the peoples' daily tasks, special occasions, their surroundings and history, and how they combine their old traditions and ways with adaptations and preparations for the future.
After several visits to Papua New Guinea, Jan Hasselberg became inspired by the beauty and culture that surrounded him that he returned to write Beautiful Tufi.
"During my first stays at Tufi, I learned that the area has a very dramatic and interesting history, and a great wealth of natural treasures," Hasselberg says. "To experience a place where the natural environment is still a fundamental part of everyone's lives made a deep impression on me, and this is some of what I have tried to express in my book. Here I was also met with great warmth and hospitality, which made it natural for me to go back and find out what more the area has to offer."
In Beautiful Tufi, Hasselberg follows a number of individuals, some in dramatic situations and some in their every-day chores. He follows them in the rainforest, in their gardens; fishing on the reefs and taking a dinghy to town. The text is supported by a large number of the author's own photos and some from historic archives."
That is the sales pitch … however when I first picked up the book and started to skim through, I suddenly stopped. " WOW" I thought.
This book has absolutely stunning photographs throughout its 241 pages. There on average two photographs per page, and many at full A4 size. Many of the photographs were taken by the author and have appeared in some other publications including Panoramio / Google Earth sites, and Flickr. The photographs are superb, and draw the reader to read the supporting text.
This is one of the first books of its genre that I have been compelled to read from cover to cover.
It is not a "coffee table book", as described. It could be if you were trying to impress your visitors. You would not have to try very hard to do that.
The book text and photos take the reader from the earliest days of Tufi regional and village habitation and folk law, through major periods in past and recent history, to today and into the foreseeable future. You are led by the writer as characters in the book, describe their realistic observations and feelings first hand.
The book deserves a place in every school library, both in Papua New Guinea and elsewhere. It certainly deserves a place in any home where previous memories of coastal PNG need to be invigorated.