Origins - Papua New Guinea
In Papua New Guinea our origins as human beings are still very much visible and alive to this day.
The Papuans descended from the earliest human inhabitants of New Guinea, arriving 40.000 years ago, subsequent to the dispersal of peoples from Africa 50,000 - 70,000 years ago.
The impenetrability of Papua’s jungles and mountain ranges has caused over 700 tribes to develop in virtual isolation from each other, each with rich cultural traditions, dating back to ancient times. For centuries Papua New Guinea has been mostly undisturbed by outside influences since the reputation of PNG’s fierce warriors has kept Western conquerors and – later – investors and visitors at arm’s length. This has preserved the unique ways and traditions of its inhabitants.
One of Papua New Guinea's many tribes - 'the Mudmen' - have been highly feared by their adversaries through the centuries. Their warriors cover their skin with white mud and they wear large white masks made of clay. In an attack they would create smoke, and slowly and silently they would appear, creating intense fear and superstition among their enemies.
These photos are a tribute to our roots as human beings and an ode the beauty, grace and strength of people still living a traditional life style in harmony with nature.