Port Moresby, the capital of Papua New Guinea, has a population of just over 400,000 people. Coordinating these people through the city’s streets is no easy task, particularly with the network of streets designed long before the population boom, and the existence of only 4 traffic lights and no stop signs. What the city does have though, is a number of roundabouts and the poorly experienced drivers of PNG battle their way around them everyday. Some of the roundabouts are quite beautiful, symbols of the vibrant PNG culture, and these are some of my favourites.
The lakatoi in the CBD. A lakatoi is the traditional multi-hulled canoe used by the Motu people of PNG. The canoes have a classic crab-claw sail and were traditionally used in pre-colonial times to sail from near Port Moresby into the Gulf of Papua to trade clay pots for sago. Now there is an festival of canoes called ‘Hiri Moale’, a bright and lively collection of lakatois and dancing girls that sail into the capital every year to celebrate the ancient tradition.
The puffer fish near the Yacht Club.
Keep PNG Clean near Boroko Food World. One of main shopping centres in Port Moresby is Boroko Food World, and opposite its entrance is this roundabout. Sponsored by the government of PNG, this roundabout is used to promote cleanliness in the city and peaceful living among its citizens.
Bird of Paradise near 5 mile.
The giant shell near wardstrip.
The wire sculpture bird of paradise near the Australian High Commission
The guardhouse roundabout. This roundabout used to have a beautiful fountain in its centre but people kept using it as a communal bath, so the government built a guardhouse and placed on guard on duty to make sure people would stop. That soon proved ineffective, so they eventually removed the fountain altogether, but kept the guard and the guardhouse, for what reason no one is really sure.
The Twin Birds of paradise in Boroko.
The turtles of Koki. These beautiful turtles were given as a gift to the city by Dame Carol Kidu, the former Minister for Community Development and revered as one of PNG’s most stalwart fighters for the equality and emancipation of women throughout the country.