It is believed that the first Papua New Guineans migrated to the island over 45000 years ago. Today, over 3 million people, half of the heterogeneous population, live in the highlands. Some communities have been engaged in low-scale conflict with their neighbours for millennia.

“Knowledge is only rumour until it is in the muscle”

The indigenous groups fight over land, pigs and women. Great effort is made to impress the enemy. The largest indigenous group, the Huli wigmen, paint their faces yellow, red and white and are famous for their tradition of making ornamented wigs from their own hair. An axe with a claw completes the intimidating effect.

Tumbu, Hangu, Peter, Hapiya, Kati, Hengene & Steven Huli Wigmen, Ambua Falls, Tari Valley Papua New Guinea, 2010 Ambua Falls, Tari Valley Tari Valley, Western Highlands Kati Hirawako, Huli Wig men Ambua Falls, Tari valley Papua New Guinea, 2010 Huli Wigmen Ambua Falls, Tari Valley Papua New Guinea, 2010