BEFORE Hela Gimbu Association chairman and his team waste their hard earned money for some unprofitable trip to the USA, let me remind them:
As an educated Hela citizen and promoter of Hela Culture, I see that this portrayal has a more positive outcome. Damien was given a substantial amount of money to set up a "Peri Cultural Centre" in Tari and he should have done that job to promote local and international tourism. Hela wig men portrayal was worthwhile through internet access and by now more people would want to come to PNG to see that wig men.
After oil and gas are gone we can maintain internal revenue flowing from tourism.
The potential is great in Hela. There are places like the famous Beaver Falls, The Mt. Bosavi ecotourism potential, the Hela wig growing and bachelor initiation and the famous Mali dance among the many. Instead of seeing and coming up with something creative that would generate an income, Damien and his mobs think that they can go seek an apology from "Tea Party Team" and Obama.
Damien must know that Tea Party Team is not a formal organization where by going to USA you will find who is member among the 50 million Americans. Tea Party means a collective of people who happen to meet in a hotel lobby and discuss a range of issues over a cup of tea or few beers and it is an informal gathering and they discuss their opinion and that's all. So from that idea a creative artist has come up with that picture. Does he/she need apologize?
It is just Damien and his team of Huli men that frequent Holiday Inn Hotel cafeteria talk about their governor, MP or the gas project. So really they don't come up with any resolutions but once all their hot air is gone after countless hours at the cafeteria, they go home.
Tea party in USA was that kind of opinion and we should be thankful that a Hela wig man is now world famous because one of the world's most powerful men was dressed in our world famous finery. We know Obama cannot apologize a he was portrayed by that tea party mob.
In order to preserve the culture as you have stated, you had better tell your wantoks like Ivan Homogo and Joseph Tangi who unnecessarily dress up every day in public places to stop and dress up only on special occasions so the Hela culture's taste and vigor are maintained. Every other ethnic group loves their culture and love to dress and move around but they only do it on occasions. You should promote and preserve and not create some unnecessary publicity stunt.
Finally I advise you to simply approach the US embassy and allow the ambassador put the wig men picture on a new Hela website to send to the entire world; they must come to the last frontier and see the real wig men and I guarantee you; an influx of tourists from USA and other places would be flooding Hela. Then you will be satisfied that the "Peri Culture Centre" that is yet to be established is started and makes money for Hela instead of hunting some wild goose in the plains of Washington DC.
Doma Peaks, Hela Province