The Cane Swallower

Walking around the Goroka Show is an experience of its own. At a certain point, after the floodgates open and lots of locals pour in, the dynamic changes dramatically. What was an overwhelming cultural experience becomes an overwhelming cultural experience with thousands of people in circles around local tribes.

As I was walking around, someone stopped me to show me this guy's ability to swallow Kanda (cane). Think of it as similar to sword swallowing that you might see at the circus or performed by a magician. The cane can be 2-3m long and bent in a U-shape. Now, the person might not swallow the whole thing, but certainly will swallow more than enough to be every bit as impressed as seeing someone swallow a sword.

From a bit of Googling, it would appear that the only tribe that comes up with regard to cane swallowing is that of the Bena Bena people in the Eastern Highlands. Only a couple days prior did I see an old black and white photo at one of the lodges I stayed in from the 1930s (or so) of a cane swallower. I never expected to meet one in real life!