Our Swain Destinations party met the fascinating Huli Wigmen at a small village in the Southern Highlands near Tari. The Huli people, one of the largest indigenous groups in PNG, have lived in this region for more than 1,000 years, and continue to practice many of their ancestral cultural traditions. Huli culture has long been based on “land, pigs and women,” for which men have fought for centuries. During combat, men cover their bodies in colorful clay pigment and headdresses made from human hair, bird of paradise feathers and flowers.
Fortunately, we were guests at a special ceremonial event known as a singsing, and not an actual skirmish. The ceremony was quite intimidating and every bit as awe-inspiring as it looks here. The Tari region is not visited by travelers nearly as frequently as other parts of PNG, which is a shame – the cultural highlights here are incredible.
Flash Parker traveled to PNG courtesy of Tourism Papua New Guinea and Swain Destinations as part of AFAR’s partnership with The United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA), whose members provide travelers with unparalleled access, insider knowledge, and peace-of-mind to destinations across the globe. For more info on Flash’s journey, visit the USTOA blog