18th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest People
Komisi Goke and his Nephew

Komisi Goke, I had crossed paths with Komisi a few times during my rounds in the village, and every time he seemed to be eating. This time around I asked Komisi, in a playful manner, “Komisi! Why is it you’re always eating?” He said, “Well you have to eat the good stuff to be strong so you can be able to take care of yourself” Do you have any children? “No, I’m 102 years old and I have no children” I said he seemed to be quite certain of his age unlike the others in the village. “ well it’s because I was once a magistrate, therefore I would know my age”, his tone gave me the feeling I insulted his intelligence. So I took a step back and listened as he went on describing his past accomplishments, he said “I once served in the village committee, and was the first villager of Mondomil to purchase a vehicle, I made my money growing coffee”. We carried on for a while and finally, as I was leaving Komisi had to tell me one more thing, “And also, did you know I have two wives?” he said with a smile. I hope to meet up with Komisi again on my next trip back.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 09.2020
Date Uploaded: 11.2020
Photo Location: Minj, Jiwaka., Papua New Guinea
Copyright: © Patrick Leahy