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Worth a detour
Rating 1.9 (230 votes)

The Tribal People of Papua New Guinea

Listed under Traditional Cultures in Papua New Guinea.

  • Photo of The Tribal People of Papua New Guinea
  • Photo of The Tribal People of Papua New Guinea
  • Photo of The Tribal People of Papua New Guinea
  • Photo of The Tribal People of Papua New Guinea
  • Photo of The Tribal People of Papua New Guinea
  • Photo of The Tribal People of Papua New Guinea
  • Photo of The Tribal People of Papua New Guinea
  • Photo of The Tribal People of Papua New Guinea
Photo of The Tribal People of Papua New Guinea
Photo by daveclucas
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The tribes of Papua New Guinea are reputed to be ferocious cannibals but, during a three month long caving expedition I was treated with kindness and generosity. In 2005 the NGS supported Untamed Rivers of New Britain Expedition explored new caves in the Nakanai Mountains of East New Britain. The area is sparsely populated with various tribal groups including the Kol. These people originated in New Ireland to the north of New Britain and steadily migrated southwards. Although they are a fairly warlike people this is a function of territorial protection. They tend to keep to themselves and don't travel very far. Any animosity is directed towards tribes from other areas who they may see as a threat. We had direct experience of this when the cook we had employed from a village six hours walk away ran away and returned home during the night. However, as far as the expedition members were concerned, they were wonderful simple people who always helped us with a smile and readily shared what little they had with us. For me this visit was a 'once in a lifetime experience' being repeated. I first visited the area in 1988 with a friend. We stayed with the local tribe in Nare Village where we were given the use of one of their huts. Staying with these people gave me a totally new perspective on life. I had never met such happy people and yet they had nothing but a few pigs. They were totally self-sufficient. Now though, most of them are slowly becoming westernised. I noticed all the people had clothes, usually a ragged pair of shorts and tee shirt whereas, during my last visit, the women wore only grass skirts and the men a simple loin cloth or 'lap-lap'. Experiences of this nature are fast disappearing. One of the expedition objectives was to preserve this unique environment by protecting the jungle from logging, a battle which is being lost all around the world. Sublime Karst Project

Written by  Dave Clucas.

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