Huli wigmen tribe

Tari basin, Hela Province of Papua New Guinea

 

Hela Province, located in the centre of the Highlands region of Papua New Guinea, is the home of Huli tribe, the biggest tribe in the country. The Huli have strong traditions little affected by modern changes. Tari, the capital of Hela Province, is one of the few places in the country where the traditional way of life can still be seen in every day’s living.

More

The Huli are proud and fearless warriors preferring traditional methods of dispute settlement. Tribal wars originate from fighting over land, pigs and women, precisely in this order. Pigs are the most precious asset for Huli. They are used to pay for bride price, death and other ritual payments. Man’s status in the local community depends upon the size of his wealth in pigs – the more pigs, the bigger the man. Huli chiefs (bigman) come to power through their skills at war, ability to mediate disputes and to amass wealth in pigs and kina shells. There are no chiefs in the hereditary sense.

Men and women live in separate houses as contacts with women are believed to be harmful. The women, who live with children and piglets, are strictly prohibited from entering the man’s house (hausman), and marital relations take place in the gardens.

The Huli are recognisable by their unique and colourful way of painting face and body with red ochre and bright yellow clay, called Ambua, considered sacred in their culture. In contrast to men, Huli women have very simple attire wearing sombre black at the wedding, and coating themselves with blue-grey clay when mourning.

The Huli men’s traditional decoration consists of a cassowary quill put through the nose, kina shells around the neck, hornbill (kokomo) beak on the back, a knife made from a cassowary bone stuck in the belt, a bend of snakeskin across the forehead, bilum (string bag) over the shoulders, arsegras (or tanket, made from leaves stuck into a belt to cover the bottom), and a belt of dangling pig tails made to attract the women.

Renowned warriors, the Huli men have one surprisingly soft side – an obsession with their hair. The Huli, also called Huli wigmen, are known for their intricately decorated woven wigs made from their own hair. The wigs represent symbols of their maturity, a custom shared by their neighbours, the Duna, and by some tribes in Enga and Western Highlands Provinces. The wigs are decorated with everlasting daisies, feathers of the bird of paradise and parrots, cuscus fur and other materials.

In the Huli tradition, each boy must grow his own wig. Most Huli have more than one wig. Some wigs are used as daily wigs, and some are worn only on special occasions. To grow a wig, the boys enter a “school for bachelors” (“wig school”), reserved for young, virgin boys, where they stay under the guidance of a wig master for around 18 months to grow one wig. During this time, they are forbidden from any physical contact with women. After the graduation, the boys wear the elaborate red hair wig of young bachelors (mandá hare) demonstrating that they have passed into adulthood.

TRIBES OF PAPUA NEW GUINEA


Chimbu Tribes

Chimbu Tribes

Eastern Highlands Tribes

Eastern Highlands Tribes

Enga Tribes

Enga Tribes

Foi Tribe

Foi Tribe

Hewa Tribe

Hewa Tribe

Huli Tribe

Huli Tribe

Kalam Tribes

Kalam Tribes

Kaluli Tribe

Kaluli Tribe

Maprik Tribes

Maprik Tribes

Sepik Tribes

Sepik Tribes

Tambul Tribes

Tambul Tribes

Western Highlands and Jiwaka Tribes

Western Highlands and Jiwaka Tribes

FESTIVALS OF PAPUA NEW GUINEA


Gulf Mask Festival

Gulf Mask Festival

Bougainville Reeds Festival

Bougainville Reeds Festival

Baining Fire Dance

Baining Fire Dance

National Mask Festival

National Mask Festival

Enga Cultural Show

Enga Cultural Show

Sepik River Crocodile Festival

Sepik River Crocodile Festival

MORE ABOUT PNG
Bushwalks

Bushwalking in PNG: Burns Peak

One of the most scenic walks around Port Moresby, with blue ocean, undulating hills, spectacular views of the harbour, and picturesque villages on stilts....

Bushwalking in PNG: Taurama Barracks to Malaoro market

Walk from Taurama Barracks to Malaoro market is tough but it’s one of the most scenic walks around Port Moresby. It shows the stunning scenery of Port Moresby surroundings in all its splendour - rip...

Bushwalking in PNG: Mt Diamond waterfall

One of the most popular walks in Port Moresby. Easy and mainly flat, with small creek crossings, green grassland, pleasant shade of the forest and beautiful Mt Diamond waterfall with its refreshingly ...

Bushwalking in PNG: Koitaki Country Club

Short scenic drive out of Port Moresby, and you find yourselves walking near Koitaki Country Club surrounded by a peaceful countryside with picturesque green rolling fields, grazing cows and horses. ...

Bushwalking in PNG: surroundings of March Girls resort

Easy and short walk through the hills surrounding March Girls Resort, stunning views from the top of the ridge with brightly-coloured blue sea, picturesque local houses and palm trees, and relaxing ti...

Bushwalking in PNG: Mt Erima lookout

Short but steep climb to Mt Erima lookout with beautiful views, freshest fruits and veggies found at the nearby PAU Sunday market and unique collection of orchids and birds in the National Orchid Gard...

Bushwalking in PNG: Taurama Barracks to Sero Beach and Pyramid Point

Drive just 15 min away from Port Moresby to Taurama Barracks and walk to Sero Beach and Pyramid Point, and you will discover beautiful surroundings of Port Moresby with green rolling hills and spectac...

Bushwalking in PNG: Varirata National Park

Famous among birdwatchers for its birds of paradise, Varirata National Park is a fantastic place for bushwalking. A great variety of vegetation from woodland to rainforest, beautiful butterflies, huge...

Bushwalking in PNG: Hombrum Bluff Lookout

One of the most challenging walks around Port Moresby. River crossing, steady ascent, tall grass, and wallabies. Scorching sun and heat. But those, who will manage to make it, will be recompensed by a...

Bushwalking in PNG: Bisianamu Rubber Plantation

Exploring the beautiful surrounding of Port Moresby on foot. A pleasant and easy walk through Bisianamu rubber plantation towards a refreshing waterfall....


close-link

Please leave this field empty.

close-link

Please leave this field empty.

close-link