Yali

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Yali

One of the indigenous groups inhabiting the Baliem Valley region, in the midst of the Jayawijaya mountain range of Papua, Indonesia, are the Yali, known as  ‘Lords of the Earth’. They live in the virgin forests of the highlands. The Yali are officially recognised as pygmies, with men standing at just 150 cm tall. 

“If the hand does nothing, the mouth does not chew”

Papuan indigenous groups, different in appearance and language, have a similar way of life. They are all polygamist and conduct rituals for important occasions at which reciprocal exchange of gifts is obligated. The Koteka, a penis gourd, is a piece of traditional clothing used to distinguish indigenous identity. 

Yali Tribal member, Wolo Valley, Sungai Baliem, Papua, Jimmy Nelson, August 2010 Yali children, Baliem Valley Festival, Papua, Jimmy Nelson, August 2010 Yali Tribal members, Wolo Valley, Sungai Baliem, Papua, Jimmy Nelson, August 2010.jpg Yali Tribal member, Baliem Valley Festival, Papua, Jimmy Nelson, August 2010 Ismael Logo, Jani Mabel, Jefrey Wenda, Dixon Pahobel, Otis Pagawak, Junias Wenda, Yali Tribal members Danu Habbema Lake Valley, West Baliem, Papua August 2010 Yali Tribal members, Danu Habbema Lake, West Baliem, Papua, Jimmy Nelson, August 2010 Yali child, Baliem Valley Festival, Papua, Jimmy Nelson, August 2010.jpg Danu Habbema Lake, West Baliem, Papua, Jimmy Nelson, August 2010 Yali Tribal member, Baliem Valley Festival, Papua, Jimmy Nelson, August 2010 Yali Tribal members Danu Habbema Lake, West Baliem, Papua August 2010