The Asaro Mudmen originally hail from the village of Goroka, and while it still may be possible to visit them on their home turf, it’s much easier (and far less frightening) to spend time with the Mudmen at the Pogla Cultural Centre in the hills above Mount Hagen. The performance put on by the family that runs Pogla is as authentic as it is bone-chilling; the masks are crafted from river mud and rocks in the same fashion they have been for thousands of years, while weapons and other devices, like spears and finger daggers, are made from bamboo. Pogla’s mission is to pass down native traditions to younger generations; by visiting, you’re doing your part to keep the stories and legends of the Mudmen alive.
Flash Parker traveled to Papua New Guinea 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.