papua new guinea’s rugged mountain terrain and island remoteness have created a protective cultural buffer against the outside world. here, more than 800 languages continue to be spoken. in papua new guinea, “men are the objects of beauty,” says anthropologist nancy sullivan. “to be masculine is to be well made up.” the men take their cues from nature, specifically the male birds of paradise who perform in an incredible display of feathers and colours and dances. like the birds, a man’s attire is not just a way of courting women, but also a way of intimidating enemies.
photos of huli wigmen (click pic) by jodi cobb, richard schoettger, jim richardson, daniel nadler, chris mclennan and chris rainier. compare with those of the omo valley tribes, brazillian tribes, and the woodabe tribe of west africa. (more photos of papua new guinea)