Tonga 2011. And her name translates to busy heart by madworld

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Tonga 2011. And her name translates to busy heart by 

We met this gorgeous child on the waterfront with her mother who was with the family collecting the hibiscus branches off the rocks they had put there to dry. They strip them and use the bark for tapa and handbags and then use the leftovers for firewood. None of the tree goes to waste. Her mother teaches at Queen Salotes School for girls and had excellent command of English. Hopefully this weekend we can get to her village to watch them making tapa cloth and then buy something from them to help keep the money coming in. These people live on very little and the cost of living is very high here, even for the tourist trade. Its a country of contrasts.

Canon 20D 50mm prime lense


madworld, tonga, portrait, portraiture, heart, girl, eyes, mouth, face


  • rjcolby
    rjcolbyover 3 years ago

    Your entire Tonga portrait series is wonderful.
    When we are feeling sorry for our own living conditions… not enough stuff, remember the others.

  • Thanks so much. Im trying in a subtle way to make people see what glitters is not always gold. The gold in life is finding people such as these that are happy under adverse circumstances, they need a lot but want for nothing. They are fed, they are loved and they are incredibly happy and outgoing. There are ones of course that are not happy, but they dont moan and do the woe is me thing. We have a lot to learn in the Western world

    – madworld

  • rjcolby
    rjcolbyover 3 years ago

    Exactly… I hope the poets and artists of the world can save civilization from the greedy, powerful among us. If not us, then who?
    Good of you to show one part of it.

  • Oh dont get me wrong though, Tonga is a wonderful place, the only downside is Ive got to go back home in a few days. I would be more than happy to live in a place such as this. I love waking up to the kids swimming and dive bombing across the road, I love seeing people piled on backs of trucks singing, I love the procession of the funeral with them dressed in traditional clothing that is hand made. I even love that the five days we have been here it has poured with rain and the yard has been flooded up to my knees. Its a shame more people though cant accept things for what they are. We try to enforce change where it is not really needed. What is needed is a sustainable lifestyle for these people. They live on next to nothing and the costs are high here. There is something wrong with the equation somewhere

    – madworld

  • rjcolby
    rjcolbyover 3 years ago

    I have a good friend who went diving somewhere in Tonga. Similar issues in Hawaii too, in the rural areas away from the tourist spots. Some really good people with the old ways and some angry…

  • I think here the tourist area as such is very much like the rest of the island. There seems to be little money anywhere which in a way isnt a bad thing I dont think. I have not come across one angry person here yet and that has been an eyeopener for me. If it were in NZ for example there would be a lot of anger with the haves and have nots.

    – madworld

  • Wendi Donaldson
    Wendi Donaldsonover 3 years ago

    Fabulous series with these portraits, Tracey!! And super to hear of this community and how well they cope and with such dignity too.

  • Thanks Wendi…so sorry for the late response, Ive just found these comments :P

    – madworld

  • Alan Kenny
    Alan Kennyover 3 years ago

    absolutely stunning portrait!

  • Thanks very much Alan, much appreciated :P

    – madworld

  • vaggypar
    vaggyparover 3 years ago

    Great Work.!!

  • Thanks very much :P

    – madworld

  • adriangeronimo
    adriangeronimoover 3 years ago

    love the composition and eye contact. very nice.

  • Thanks Adrian, she was a sweetie :P

    – madworld

  • milenamalchiodi
    milenamalchiodiover 3 years ago

    I think I cannot describe with words what I feel when I look this picture.
    What you say before: “The gold in life is finding people such as these that are happy under adverse circumstances, they need a lot but want for nothing”; every word, is on the picture.
    Awesome work and serie.

  • Thanks so much for this wonderful comment! So sorry for the late response, Ive only just found all of these :)

    – madworld

  • DesImages
    DesImagesover 3 years ago

    Those eyes are stunning!

  • THanks Denise, her eyes were incredible :P

    – madworld

  • kimangeline
    kimangelineover 3 years ago


  • People such as these is what makes life interesting and make you realise the situation you have found yourself in is trivial compared to others. They are a good country for teaching lessons

    – madworld

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