WHAT IS THEIR PHILOSOPHY OF LIfE
"MAGIC CONNECTS WARRIORS AND PLANTS"
Huli Wigmen are most known for their colorful decorated wigs and extreme violent temperament. They fight with other clans over land, pigs and women. Growing a wig starts from an early age as part of manhood training while they live in a secretive cave deep insight the jungle. For each boy a seed of plant is planted and their souls are connected by magical spells. The plan represents the spiritual status of each trainee and notifies when a boy is ready to be called man and return home. Should a boy become powerful and respected warrior, the plant assigned to him will flourish. When the person dies or his mind becomes poisoned, his plant will get dry and perish.
WHERE HULI WIGMEN LIVE
People from the high land
In the heart of Southern Highlights, just few km away from the small town of Koroba at an altitude of 2464m hides a small valley. It is the birth place of Kikori river and it's called home by Huli Wigmen tribe.
Walking & living in the dense jungle is exhausting and requires a special set of skill to survive and navigate. Petr learned all this from his father, who acquired it from his father, and like this from generation to generation the knowledge is transferred.
Manago is one of the most experienced warriors. Besides his fearless courage in battle, he is also known as a wise person. Early on Manago realized by making peace or alliance with neighboring clans, he can help his Huli Wigmen people survive. Passing tribes philosophy and combat skills to the next generation means a lot to him.
To grow a wig takes 15+ years. In an age of 14 boys are taken by their fathers deep into the jungle where they spend 7 to 10 years living in caves and learning how to survive, fight, behave in the society, make a family and grow a wig. For the Huli Wigmen the wig symbolizes manhood. Once the training of the boys is completed, they are allowed to return home and get married.
Growing a wig falls into 3 different stages. The hair is formed into half spherical form. This takes about 3 years. Few years later the shape of the hair is transformed to more conical look. After about 15 years the edges of the hair are lifted up. Once this process is finished, the hair is cut with sharp and thin blades to preserve it. The wig is decorated with the colorful feathers for various birds nesting in the jungle. Most notable are the feathers from the endemic "Bird of paradise" placed on its top.
Men and women live separated in different huts. Usually a house is shared among people from the same sex. Kids live with their mothers until they reach age of puberty. Once girls mature, they are married. In general, they are traded for pigs or land.
The doors of each male hut are decorated with skeletons of local fish and bones. They symbolize the hunter origin as well as that no stranger is welcomed. Trespassing any of Huli Wigmen marked territories can lead to demand for compensation, such as pigs or women. In most cases a refusal leads to war.
Getting ready for multi-tribal gathering ceremony called "Sing-sing". The backs of Huli Wigmen are embellished by the beaks of a hornbill bird. It symbolizes strength and courage when in battle.
Each tribesman helps others to prepare its outfit.
Once the decoration is ready, the group departures on a long trip. It takes several days until they reach the location for the "Sing-sing" ceremony.
Small bags called “bilum” accompany each warrior. They are by knotless netting of woven plant reeds and are used to carry most essential items for survival. As per local believe, a man without a “bilum” is not a man, because you never know when you need to take on a journey. “Bilums” are also used by women to carry their babies.
"Sing-sing" ceremony is attended by warriors from various parts of the same valley. All of them are extremely violent and to spark a conflict is very easy. Usually clans fight for land, pigs or women. In that order!