Welcome to the hidden world, this group of indigenous peoples have been sealed off from the rest of the world by a wall of mountains and the only way to get there in comfort is by air. Some people say that this area shows the authentic tribes of Papua.
Tourism is thriving in this area and there are many tribes that take advantage of this, the general name given to all the tribes is the Dani. They are very gently natured towards tourists and enjoy the attention. Now this is where the word tribe really does come into effect. Imagine if you will, just for a second, a warrior standing in front of you, spear in hand, ready for battle, plus added to that the fact that he is naked and proud of it, this is the Dani people. Well, I do exaggerate to be honest because they are not 100% naked, you will find the men wear a Koteka, this is a tube like yellow gourd worn over the penis. And the ladies have modest grass skirts. A dab of warpaint here and there and the odd feather for effect. I can see you’re already thinking of the possible gifts to buy friends and relatives, a Koteka does make a special present for that very special man in your life.
Just as a side note to look out for women who are missing a finger or even two, this amputation is a sign of mourning, for the lose of husband. This culture with its nuances and bravado of force and power are the source of hundreds of books. Yet the experience of standing in the valley watching mock wars traditional dancing and pig festivals is truly beyond any words. We highly recommend that you book your ticket now to the Baliem Valley as it is a truly amazing experience.
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