The Huli, also known as Wigmen, form the largest community in the highlands, roughly estimated at some 250,000 people. They are known for their tradition of making ornamental wigs from their own hair. These look like plumed hats, intricately decorated with feathers of birds-of-paradise and parrots.
“Knowledge is only rumour until it is in the muscle”
The Huli believe that they and several neighbouring communities are descended from a common ancestor known as Hela ‘the father of all’. He is said to be the first man who farmed the land, and a son of spirit beings. The communities descended from his offspring are known as Hela ingini (meaning ‘sons of Hela’) and often refer to each other as brothers.