"Back to the Stoneage"
Papua (Irian Jaya), the Western part of the island belongs to Indonesia. For decades it was protected and virtually nestled away by Indonesia and could maintains its basic original features. The Papuas consist of many tribal groups and speak 750 different languages. The centre of the island is formed by a mountain range of 5.030 m in height which means that only 2 degrees south of the equator there is a 40 m2 snow and ice region.
The aim of our expedition "Back to the Stone Age" was to explore one of the tribes called Korowai. Their present life style is how our predecessors' may have been many thousand years ago. They have no experience with iron or metal. Utensils for daily usage that we need are totally unknown to the Korowai. They go hunting with bow and arrow and eat birds, snakes and frogs. Their main source of protein is the grub of the Capricorn beetle. Sago is retrieved from palm trees and forms the basis of their nutrition. Pigs are part of the family and are loved and protected like their children. Their means of transport for the children, pigs and vegetables are hand woven baskets. Quite often all at once. The dogs are just as spoiled and rarely manage to get their daily run. Only for special occasions a pig is killed and eaten, by example for a wedding or the start of menstruation of a girl. Pigs do not form part of the normal diet. Due to many tribal rivalries and wars with neighbours the population of the Korowais is declining. Difficult conditions of their survival like diseases, parasites claim many lives. Nature keeps its balance by naturals selection. Their live is a pure battle, the only aim is survival. Their daily routine is dominated by the necessity to find food. The Korowai live in tree huts. This is due to the continuous rivalries of tribal enemies. High likelihood of attacks sends the Korowais into higher tree huts. For the peaceful days there is always a smaller normal treehouse around.
The different tribes from Papua (Irian Jaya)
Numbers and facts from Papua (Irian Jaya)
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