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The Wano: Last of the Stone Age Tool Makers

Listed under Traditional Cultures in Indonesia.

  • Photo of The Wano: Last of the Stone Age Tool Makers
  • Photo of The Wano: Last of the Stone Age Tool Makers
  • Photo of The Wano: Last of the Stone Age Tool Makers
Photo of The Wano: Last of the Stone Age Tool Makers
Photo by flickr user A.
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The Wano people are situated in the basin of the river Mamberamo, an area of outstanding bio-diversity including amazing animals such as the tree-kangaroo and cassowaries (huge flightless birds). This area was until recently strictly no-go, labeled as unchartered and prohibited territory. Among the only remaining cultures producing stone axes by hand, the Wano are responsible for the ‘stone age culture’ label attached to the inhabitants of the area.

As well as employing traditional methods of tool-making, local fashions remain uncontested with women dressing in grass skirts and men donning only the traditional koteka (decorated gourd worn as a penis sheath). The Wano men carry a massive bow and arrows, which are used to hunt the large river crocodiles. Treks to these remote people cover some of the most unexplored land in the world.

Written by  Amber Due.

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