The Dani are the largest group of peoples living in the highlands of Papua (Irian Jaya). The today´s administrative centre Wamena is located in the fruitful Baliem-Valley in the middle of the Danitribe. This area was discovered in 1939 by Richard Archbold with its expedition of the same name. The Dani subdivides themselfes into many different groups. Characteristical for the Dani is the penisgourd named "Koteka". This is made from gourdplants. This traditional clothes getting nowadays rare in Wamena. However, outside of Wamena this is generally still common.
Danis decorate themself also with big tooth from a pig. They pull these throug the nose septum. The woman just wear a skirt made from turned fibers. In Wamena they wear now T-shirts an skirts. Bow and arrow lost their meaning nowadays. The Dani just use them to sell it to tourists. The basical food for the Dani are the sweat potatoes. There are more than 200 differnt types in Papua.
Large forest are nearly lost in the closer area of Wamena. Many days working are necessary to reach intact nature . These changings depend on the concentration of the Danis in and around Wamena. For this reason they need here more and more sweet potatoes. Unfortunately now the basical food change from sweet potatoes to rice. In the closer environment Wamenas you will found Akima and Jiwika. Both places have a Mumy. The about 350 years old mummy is taken out of the hut for tourists. You have to pay cash for this. This is the way to survive for these familys. Near Jiwika is a small salt spring. You have to walk about 45 minutes up to the mountain.The Dani womans produce here the urgently needed salt. They dive banana leaves into the water where they absorb the salty water. Later they burn the leaves and use the ash as salt.