Meeting Robert Rose in 2018.
The Explorers Club in New York City was my next location for a premiere of the documentary film. Headquarters for the prestigious organization is an 8-story brownstone filled with important artifacts and documentation going back to 1904. I carried the EC Flag #46 on the expedition to film the project. I loved the engagement from the audience, with so many wonderful remarks and questions after the screening. One of the most memorable moments was meeting Robert Rose of Raw Travel TV. I became engaged with his style of programming, which is not just about adrenaline rushes or posh resorts – it’s about culture and people being treated with respect. We have communicated over the past 2 years so meeting him in person was a treat. Robert is just as real and caring as he is on his show.
A quote Robert Rose allowed me to use for my film promotion:
“To those who wish to travel with heart, I say: Just do it! Don‛t be afraid to be around others less privileged than you. Don‛t miss the lessons they have to offer. Wealth is relative. We‛re all rich and poor in different ways. Embrace the humble nature of the planet‛s most populous people. Let their authenticity and dignity in the face of incredible obstacles inspire you to overcome your own tribulations. Go ahead, travel with heart. I bet you‛ll be glad you did.”
Although we have stayed in communication and I’ve watched almost all of his RAW Travel TV Episodes, it wasn’t until May 2023 that I saw him again, here in Seattle! We spent time at our home where he was able to meet husband, George, and our little dog, Tarynn. Rob enjoyed looking at all the Melanesian art in the house then we sat in our own backyard where he conducted an interview and did some filming.
We are all excited to announce that we have an appearance in an upcoming episode for the program on July 8th and 9th!!! You can watch one of the trailers by going to the link below.
Episode 10-15 “The Art of Living” Trailer
This newsletter will end on a quote from the Episode, Empathy = Strength and we proudly wear and donate to Rob’s cause and care for Ukraine.
“During my travels, I’ve thought a lot about the word empathy and what it means. While I still don’t have all the answers, traveling has brought me perhaps a few steps closer to the “how’s” and “why’s” of the global character of kindness… but with every answer comes a question.
For example, how can so few people cause so much destruction and pain, leaving others to try and repair the damage from their misguided misadventures?
Perhaps there is no celebrated spring without the bitter, unpleasant winter, or no victorious climb to mountaintops without the low valleys below; no life, without death…
But rather than excuse the malicious nature of humanity, let’s celebrate that the better angels of our nature seem to always prevail… eventually. If destruction and greed are weaknesses, then empathy and kindness are strengths. And there is, after all, strength in numbers.” —Robert Rose
To find the televisions time, date and location, follow this link: Where to Watch
PLEASE NOTE: The show is only airing in the USA via broadcast TV (no online except potentially via the local broadcast station’s streaming platform). Hopefully it will exhibit in an international or online window later in 2023 or early in 2024. Viewers in the USA can only view via our broadcast distribution partner’s platforms which include over-the-air, free television and streaming in local markets. There are currently NO ONLINE STREAMING PLATFORMS for full episodes as we are exclusive to the broadcast platform currently.
I can’t believe it has been such a long time since I’ve communicated with you!!! Just when you think a project is done and time to move on – it’s NOT. This is a timeless story of history and art.
As Robert Rose of RAW Travel TV quoted as he was reading Caroline’s books: “There is too much going on in this life to sit and watch.”
Caroline Mytinger: Headhunting in the Solomon Islands
It’s not time to “sit and watch.” I continue to hear from friends and artists from Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. All are developing more and more beautiful creations. It’s been a pleasure to wear clothing hand-painted by Anna Amos of AA Tribal Fashion and of PNGFI. I wear these beautiful garments wherever I can. Functions in New York City, the recent NANPA Summit in Tucson and here in my area of Seattle.
Also purchased and collected are some amazing paintings from Waxie Noah Kawatalu, Jackson Diosi, Michael Bolokon, Gazellah Bruder, Julie Ann Fakaia, Emanuel Wainini and the incomparable Jeffrey Feeger, who appears in the film. As a well known-carver in the Solomon Islands, John Wayne, also is included in the collection. We truly are “The Art of Living”, which is the title of an upcoming episode by Rob on RAW Travel TV.
There are some pieces that were commissioned. Not for myself but to be used in fundraising efforts. Ocean environment, project focused for the sirens of the sea, perhaps an NGO that stands for women’s rights? All are so important and I will be looking at venues that can be supported by the beauty of art. Remember – we all are a part of “The Art of Living”.
I sent a photo of spinner dolphins from an underwater perspective. Then Kala Kawatalu, Waxie’s talented father, created a painting that was from his view – playing and jumping alongside his traditional canoe.
The Kawatalu Family continues the journey by teaching all the children how to create beautiful art. The Art of Living! Stay tuned for an upcoming announcement!
Several months ago, I was contacted by a long-time friend, Lynnette Dodds. She has lived in Los Angeles for many years but decided it was time for her to return to her home country of Australia. Lynn began the process of looking at all her collected art pieces and there they were – three amazing Papua New Guinean pieces she acquired during a visit. She knew it would be difficult, if not impossible, to take them to Australia due to some of the material used to make the items. One particular piece stood out. A pot that is decades old
I contacted Dr. Andrew Moutu, whom I’ve known for many years and who appeared in the film. An anthropologist living in Port Moresby, guided us to the current Curator at the PNG National Museum and Art Gallery, Grace Vele. It did not take long for Grace and the team at the museum to identify this rare gourd and exclaimed “it’s priceless”!
Dr. Moutu recently participated in the return of a boomerang to the indigenous community in Australia. At that event, he expressed his feelings in a wonderful way.
“Seems epical as a momentous occasion that also explains the nature of the boomerang to return to its origins as it always does.The airfoils and the angular momentum that are built into it enables the boomerang to catapult through historical chains of custodial cares and to eventually to return and settle back in the solemn requiems of ownership.”
The word for all of us to consider is repatriation. The definition, according to the dictionary is: the act or process of restoring or returning someone or something to the country of origin, allegiance, or citizenship : the act of repatriating or the state of being repatriated. This is a responsibility for us who have collected valuable cultural items. Not everything would be accepted but it certainly is worth a try. Many people believe that museums from Western or European countries are better locations. I disagree. Not all have the room nor can they display large collections. My feelings are if they have to go into a storage facility, it should be back on the soil of the country of origin. Let them sleep peacefully at home.
Thank you, Lynn, for the effort and cost of returning this amazing piece of history! Once it arrived in Port Moresby, it was wonderful to receive this message from Grace Vele.
“So yes! It got here in safe hands and I’m about to open the box to check, but everything is okay.Thanks for all the effort you put into caring and returning the gourd container, by looking at it; I strongly believe it has been well preserved and has return to its origin in one piece and in the same manner it left. Not every art dealer or collector would send back something very rare and scare back to its origin. Just letting you know that we will continue to preserve this rare piece for the rest of its life span here at the PNG National Museum and Art Gallery.”
As I wander through my home, I wonder just how many valuable artefacts I own. It would feel extremely rewarding to take them home to Papua New Guinea.
Overland Park, Kansas – Jim’s twinkly blue eyes faded peacefully after a 3.5 year battle with (GBM) brain cancer. His three simple missions in life: bring joy to others, enjoy the best food and love for his family.
Born in Wichita Falls, TX life took him to places all over-including high school in London (ASL). At 6′ 5″ he stood out in a crowd. A natural helper, Jim was the first to volunteer. He was known to charge a cookie, but a brownie was preferred.
A former NASDAQ Equity Trader of 17 yrs, he officed at The Kansas City Board of Trade until fateful 9/11. Jim joined Laura in residential real estate where they were multi-million-dollar producers. Jim is a former President of the Kansas City Securities Association, and past member of the Kansas City Regional Association of Realtors, Nelson-Atkins Museum Society of Fellows & Carriage Club.
He leaves his wife, Laura, their children Polly, Jon, Max and Mollie. His mom Louise, sisters Barbara (Dennis) Tucker and Nancy (Ron) Boyle. His In-laws Pat Johnson, Diana (Dan) Abitz. Nieces & nephews Bren Boyle, Dave Barber Jr, Jessie Hanley, Austin Abitz & Jenny Abitz.
I never had the pleasure of meeting Jim or the entire family personally. We’ve stayed connected and communicated in a variety of ways. Know that Jim was an incredible human being – and relative of Caroline through marriage.
Before leaving on assignment I did have the pleasure of communicating my condolences with Laura, Jim’s wife. He was a valient warrior fighting for 3 years with brain cancer. I wish I could have hugged this joyful man and will stay in touch with the entire family. Laura responded with the biggest compliment I could receive.
“Jim was so happy to connect with you and Caroline Mytinger’s life, books and works. She looked so much like a younger version of his mother who is related by marriage which always surprised us. Thank you for including, educating and sharing with us your research and journey. You are a Mytinger to us!”
Sincere condolences to the Mytinger Family.
When Caroline returned from her expedition, she spent time in New York, then on to Pasadena around Valentine’s Day. Her relationship with Phillip was on the wane, I discovered a letter she wrote.
“Your telegram this morning reminds me, my dear, that I haven’t thanked you for the box of candy which is now nearly consumed. I expect a crop of pimples (uncouth as that sounds) by tomorrow at least. And as much as I love you and love candy, I hope you won’t send me any more. I haven’t been able to eat a square meal since Saturday —- filling myself with candy between meals. Beastly habit I have of not being able to resist a sweet.”
That actually sounds a bit like me with the exception of, I’m not irresistible! I cannot resist chocolates and expect to receive my order of my favorite ice cream from our Consulting Producer and friend, Stratton Leopold. His family owned business of Leopold’s Ice Cream has been in existence for 100 years. Although Stratton has spent 40 years in the film industry, he and his lovely wife, Mary, are back in Savannah. And in the shop downtown, the Headhunt Revisited film poster hangs proudly alongside others. “Paycheck,” “Mission Impossible III,” “Sum of all Fears” and more.
In November, I had the pleasure of participating in a very special event sponsored by the Explorers Club titled “Footprints: Our Human Story”
From our ancient ancestors to the next generation, meet women who are exploring what it was, is, and will be to be human. Our journey to follow the footprints of our human story begins in the ancient world where archaeology can pull back the veil of time to understand where we came from. Photography, ethnography and anthropology shed light on the modern day, and our diverse, changing world. Finally, we look ahead, considering the patterns of history and where we can go from here.
This online event was made possible by The Explorers Club and Discovery, hosted by Denéa Buckingham.
It was an honor to share our personal endeavors with Alegra Ally, Alicia Stevens, Varvara Busova. We recently received our 1-½ hour segment and I am proud to share it with you via Vimeo. Just follow this link. https://vimeo.com/manage/videos/670825915
Enjoy the discussion and have a wonderful Valentine’s Day!!!
It’s impossible to not share this story again for Christmas/New Year’s 2021 and hoping for a much-improved 2022.
The last year of Caroline and Margaret’s great adventure was spent in the Fly River Territory. After all this time of gathering portraits and having to deal with hardships in the tropics, they made do with a palmetto tree turned upside-down and decorated with socks rolled up, flour to sprinkle like snow and a tin star nailed to the stub of the plant. Genius! What made it more special is that instead of having lights, the palmetto attracted fireflies that glowed during the night. What struck me most in her book, New Guinea Headhunt, are the last sentences.
“This Christmas our thoughts did not wander nostalgically the thousands of miles to home. We had been gone too long; we had learned what every good traveler must, to live our lives where we found ourselves.” – Caroline Mytinger
I continue to review photos of scrapbooks, letters from Caroline to Philip W. Pillsbury, Sr. and hear from others across the ocean with inquiries as to the journey she and Margaret took in the late 1920s. Caroline was complicated, determined that nothing was going to stop her; and her love interests that were SECRETS!
Margaret Warner was her high school and decades-long friend. A young doctor and Caroline married, but although she was the love of his life, he could not keep her and “released her to the world” in 1920. Caroline met Philip W. Pillsbury, Sr. sometime after and was 6 years his senior. Her beauty, brilliance and independence cast a spell over him.
On December 23, 1929, just after the “Girl Explorers” returned, Caroline wrote a letter to “Mr. Pillsbury”.
“ Please find herewith the best wishes of Mrs. Stober — this goes for all time —not just for 1930 and the day after tomorrow —- Oh Philip, Philip, how long must this go on—all your life? I’v e already had my fill. Philadelphia almost —(not quite) bored me. I feel as if I had wasted my time though it was sweet to have breakfast served, —— Phil, I do hate to seem premature but I love you too much to make you unhappy — and that’s that — I can’t give you more than that for a happy New Year —-that’s the most anybody can give you——-At any rate, here’s a cheerio —-live long and be happy and know that I shall love you always.”
Although Philip married in 1935, they remained close. Caroline painted portraits of Phil, his wife Eleanor and other family members. He also came to visit in Monterey in the 1940s on several occasions.
Who knows what this relationship was? My research and reading all the letters may never give a solid answer.
I continue to receive messages from around the world asking many questions of who Caroline and Margaret engaged with while in Melanesia. This is always exciting and it’s hoped that it will continue in the upcoming years.
To all of you who supported this effort for the last two decades, my hope is that it will continue. Wishing you all the best for a bright future and beautiful light.
Explorers Club – Pathfinders Symposium
It is with great honor to announce that I will be part of an exciting symposium titled Pathfinders: Women of the Explorers Club. I’ll be joining other women who have incredible stories to tell. Two days of wonderful speakers and topics.
The session I am participating in is:
“Footprints: Our Human Story” is part of “PATHFINDERS: Women of The Explorers Club”: a two-day symposium from November 5th thru 6th, presented by Tory Sport, to highlight incredible women in exploration – past, present, and future.
From our ancient ancestors to the next generation, meet women who are exploring what it was, is, and will be to be human. Our journey to follow the footprints of our human story begins in the ancient world where archaeology can pull back the veil of time to understand where we came from. Photography, ethnography and anthropology shed light on the modern-day, and our diverse, changing world. Finally, we look ahead, considering the patterns of history and where we can go from here.
Further details here: Explorers Club – Pathfinders
In September, I received an order for the film DVD and notecards from a gentleman – in Australia. With all the restrictions for mailing due to the COVID pandemic, Mr. Roger James was gracious and patient. He additionally stepped up to assist with the cost, which was expensive, by agreeing to donate to the Max Benjamin Legacy Fund. This is something dear to my heart. Roger received the package and immediately watched the film with his fiancee. Here’s what he replied, with permission to share.
“The package arrived, and we watched the film!!!
My fiancee, Kath, is from Tubusereia, and recently had one arm tattooed from a design given to her by an old aunty, so the section about the lady with the tattoo recognised from the picture was really fascinating for her. Also the remaking of the head-dress was a highlight, and she recognised one lady there. I loved the comparison between Caroline’s art and the contemporary PNG artist. It was a story really sensitively told – I worked for Conservation International for many years in Melanesia, and I know how we as outsiders can have a bit of a cringeworthy approach to local cultures and social norms, but your film had none of that and I really really love it for that. I cannot tell you how glad I am that I decided to look for a copy, and that you went to that extra effort to get around postal hassles.Thank you so much!!”
The film has lived on! Such a wonderful gift to still see interest in a timeless story.
The Gold for Melanesian Artists
It was thrilling to see Melanesian athletes participate in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. My heartfelt congratulations to Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Fiji and New Caledonia for participating in the Olympics. I was so proud to see each and every country walk proudly with flags flying and attire designed in their individual custom patterns. A huge congrats to Fiji for winning the Gold in Rugby. So exciting! You all should take a look at the participants and which sport they competed in. Impressive!!!
Personally, I wish to give Gold to the eight artists who shared their creativity and inspiration in the magazine story. Each have been delivered their own hardcopy of the publication to hold in their hands. Thank you, Alicia Sahib and everyone who helped to distribute them. In addition, thank you for sharing photos so I can share with my supporters.
“I received the magazine and thank you so, so much ….appreciate what you’ve done and the passion that led you on that path to create the piece and connect the dots with the painting…I can understand and appreciate why you wanted me to do some work on the sea. You did manage to acknowledge and identify some very talented artists from our reagion … and give them a platform.
I also have been able to share … the story with some of Tony’s children and, his boy, Regulus, came over for the weekend … yes he was happy, he was surprised to see he was just looking through the magazine and happened to come across his Daddy’s portrait and his Daddy’s painting….just very, very beautiful moment. It really was a very significant and meaningful thing and the fact that Tony’s work was celebrated in that way.” — Jeffry Feeger
The Mytinger Project is looking forward to sharing more stunning art by and for the Melanesian Contemporary Art Community.
To all the participating artists for the magazine story “The Ocean Arts of Melanesia.” A special thanks to Alicia Sahib who has not only supported my work over the years but is a strong proponent of organizations that deal with social issues, poverty, violence and yes, THE ARTS.
I had a box of hard copies of the magazine for distribution to each artist who appears in the story. There is nothing like holding your own magazine and turning each page. Alicia not only is handling this quite challenging task but is also gifting a copy to a number of dignitaries in both Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands. I hope to receive more photos of the artists WITH their own copy.
Box delivered!!! Thank you, Alicia and Bank South Pacific. Note the photo from inside the bank headquarters in Port Moresby. They used many of my images
in their decor! I would like to acknowledge David Conn next to Alicia. Thank you, my friends!
I’m proud to see this list with special notes from Alicia to:
United States Ambassador to Papua New Guinea/Solomon Islands
Australia High Commissioner
Prime Minister James Marape
Director of Tourism Authority/PNG
Governor Gary Juffa
Assist Governor, Motu Koitabu Assembly, Junior Dadi Toka
Minister of Justice Bryan Kramer
Additional copies were sent to Honiara, Solomon Islands.
Now you understand why I’m wishing all dad’s a Happy Father’s Day. Here in the U.S. it’s June 20 (September in Australia/Melanesia). Waxie Noah Kawatalu, the perfect parent, teaches his own children and many others in the community to use their “creative sides” to tell stories through art.
For friends who live in Australia, there will be a special screening of the documentary film at Bundanoon Winterfest on July 10. Follow the link to the scheduled time and more information.
Dear friend Lynne Ainsworth will open the screening with stories of her own family’s rich and historic ties to Papua New Guinea. Lynne is an accomplished writer AND a huge supporter of Headhunt Revisited: With Brush, Canvas and Camera. I certainly wish I could time with Lynne in beautiful Bundanoon, Australia.
From this newsletter, I hope you understand my passion for their talent and appreciate their creations. You can also go to the Headhunt Revisited Facebook page, “like” it and join me in celebrating art that crosses oceans and decades.
Because there is no compensation for this story, I’m asking you to consider donating to a charitable organization. The three identified here are close – VERY CLOSE.
A continuation of celebrating Melanesian artists and the marine environment! This second announcement continues to share with you four incredibly talented artists from the Solomon Islands. Recently published in Ocean Geographic Society’s magazine is a story I’ve been working on for the past year. This was a collaboration with many friends and, more important, this generation of contemporary artists who ARE Melanesian!
From this newsletter, I hope you understand my passion for their talent and appreciate their creations. You can also go to the Headhunt Revisited Facebook page, “like” it and join me in celebrating art that crosses oceans and decades.
Because there is no compensation for this story, I’m asking you consider donating to a charitable organization recommended by the U.S. Consular Agent in Honiara. Plan International is one of the world’s oldest and largest child rights development agencies. They work in over 70 countries around the world to tackle the root causes of poverty, inequality and injustice. Their mission is to strive for a just world that advances children’s rights and equality for girls – working together with children, young people, which supports and partners to achieve change. Plan International is independent, with no religious affiliation.
They are working closely with local partners such as HCC, YWCA, Live and Learn Solomon and SIDT.