Smile for a cigarette
I will never forget this amazing woman! Although I didn’t understand a word she was saying I understood one thing – she wanted to be my ‘photo model’ as long as I gave her cigarettes, quite a reasonable deal, right?
You talking to me?
Although she looks a bit angry this amazing woman was very nice and hospitable. She belongs to a Dani tribe who live in central Papua in the Baliem Valley. Dani live a modest, rural life, exclusively from agriculture and some lost tourists like myself. Their life is based on planting potatoes and pig farming. Once fearless warriors today are peaceful and very sociable people.
Dani were known as one of the most decorative tribes in whole Papua. The colorful headdress on the warrior is made with feathers from exotic birds and tusks from wild boars. The men of the tribe wear a penis gourd called a ‘koteka’ which is held in place by two loops of fibre, very interesting ‘fashion detail’, right?
The Dani tribe have some interesting customs. One of which involves funeral ceremonies. When a family member dies, women cut off part of their fingers as a way of showing their grief. Fingers were cut off with a stone ax and it was a job of the women’s closest family member.
Don’t let go…
Beautiful baby girl doesn’t want to let her mom.
Dani children live with their mothers until they reach the teenage years. Girls are wearing skirts made from woven orchid fibres from the day they were born while boys are naked till the moment they are initiated. After initiation they wear penis gourds.
Preparing to make a fire…
Dani chief showed us how to make a fire using the stone age method: through wood friction, fascinating!