Carving “Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels” for a living

The “Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels” story that rekindles the heroics of indigenous Papua New Guineans who helped the Australian and Allied Forces soldiers during World War II is deeply embedded in the hearts of the people of PNG and Australia.

The photograph of an “angel” from Oro, the late Raphael Oimbari, helping a wounded Australian digger George Whittington along the famous Kokoda Trail has immortalized the story.

The world famous image of “angel” Oimbari escorting the injured Whittington has been adopted as a monumental reminder of the story of the “Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels” and the strong  bond between PNG and Australia.

Younger Papua New Guineans from other parts of the country like Gideon Jau from Tambunum in Angoram, East Sepik is retelling the Fuzzy Wuzzy Angel story in his own way. Jau is carving the famous image of Oimbari helping Whittington along the Kokoda Track for a living in Madang town.

His carving of the famous image meant as an office or living room decoration sells at K300.

Jau said so far he sold two the carvings to Australian tourists at the Madang Resort Hotel for K300 each recently.

Today (Friday 23/09/16) he was at the annual Liklik Diwai Tourism Expo of Divine Word University promoting his carvings including that of “angel” Oimbari helping injured Whittington.

The Expo organized by final year Bachelor of Tourism and Hospital Management students as part of their event management course gives opportunities small tourism product vendors like carver Jau to promote their work.

Jau was pleased for the opportunity given by the DWU Tourism and Hospitality Management Department to promote his work.

His famous carving was selling for K300.

Jau said he can make the same carving of the image of Oimbari and Whittington on order within two weeks. 

He said as a grassroots person he does not have a phone number, email or postal address but people can call in at the Madang Resort Hotel’s Haus Carving near the Forum Park where he is based to place an order. 


Picture caption: Gideon Jau from Tambunum in Angoram, East Sepik with his carving of the famous image of “Fuzzy Wuzzy Angel” Raphael Oimbari escorting the injured Australian digger George Whittington along the Kokoda Track during World War II. Picture by KEVIN PAMBA

Kevin Pamba