WHAT IS THEIR PHILOSOPHY OF LIfE
"A FEROCIOUS APPEARANCE CAN DISSUADE YOUR ENEMIES AND SAFE YOUR LIFE."
Several generations ago Asaro had been hunted by their strongest enemy tribe. At that time an old man from their valley had a dream in which he saw terrifying gray spirit. Next morning the tribe made the first mask out of mud. In the morning shadow of the rainforestAsaro approached their enemies with slow movements. Once noticed enemies fled terrified and Asaro (valley name??) was saved. Every since Asaro Mudmen are convinced in the power of fear of the unknown and commemorate that event by reproducing it every year to keep the legend alive.
WHERE asaro mudmen LIVE
20km North-West from Goroka town located on the Bismarck Range flows Asaro river near Daulo pass. On both river banks live about 30000 people who control the access to the fertile Markham and Ramu valleys as well as several gold funds. They speak dano dialect that is part of the Kainantu - Goroka language family spread only in a very small part of Papua New Guinea.
The constant battles of the highlander tribes as well as the rough terrain makes reallocation very difficult. The bond to the land is most important and the rights to own and the duty to protect it is inherited from father to son. In a year thousands men lose their lives. Every village and settlement studies how to defend itself better. Some created better bows, other improved spears and arrows or better shields for self protection.
According to the legend, the Asaro has invented an ingenious way to prevent war or minimize casualties if it’s impossible to avoid the conflict. Their way for defense is to turn to the spirits in order to frighten their enemies. For this they made masks made of special clay and designed to appear as monsters from other world. Majority of the Highlanders believe in the existence of the super humans who live deep in the rainforest , inside rivers or caves. This is their religion and all tribes give special offerings to please those Gods.
After warriors are ready with their masks they cover their skin with clay while singing secretive spells to increase power in the battle. Furthermore, a decoration with plants covered by mud is added as well as all movements are slow and graceful in order to make their appearance even more convincing and ferocious. When their enemies saw them appearing from the muddy river bank at dusk, thought they are spirits and fled. The fear in their souls remained forever.
Because of the mimicry strategy learned from the nature and the special white clay used those men are called Asaro Mudmen.