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Papua  New Guinea

As primitive as any still left upon
our shrinking glove, Paupuans lived
their simple lives until tourists taught
them to wear clothes, hide shame, sell trinkets,

feathers dyes tattoos, all envied
by visitors, could be multiplied for sale.
They performed tribal dances (not for war)
thrummed on logs, toot on punctured reeds

for money or barter headdress of Birds of
Paradise, exchanged for caps of N.Y. Yankees,
Mickey Mouse wrist watches, wearing
tee shirts discarded sneakers, sans socks.

Tourists visitors deplore the loss
of primitive ways, the leap from
then to now, to face the struggles 
of modern man, no worse than their own.

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