The eastern half of the New Guinea island gained full independence from Australia in 1975, when Papua New Guinea was born. The indigenous population is one of the most heterogeneous in the world. Traditionally, the different groups scattered across the highland plateau live in small agrarian clans.
“Knowledge is only rumour until it is in the muscle”
The first visitors were impressed to find valleys of carefully planned gardens and irrigation ditches. The women of the indigenous groups are exceptional farmers. The men hunt and fight other tribes over land, pigs and women. Great effort is made to impress the enemy with terrifying masks, wigs and paint.