The Eerie Smoked Corpses of Papua New Guinea

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For centuries, the Anga tribe of Papua New Guinea’s Morobe Highlands have practiced a unique mummification technique – smoke curing. Once smoked, the mummies aren’t buried in tombs or graves; instead, they are placed on steep cliffs, so that they overlook the village below. The very sight of a string of charred, red bodies hanging off the mountains might seem quite grotesque, but for the Anga people, it’s the highest form of respect for the dead.

The process itself is carried out carefully and thoroughly by experienced embalmers. At first, the knees, elbows and feet of the corpse are slit, and the body fat is drained completely. Then, hollowed-out bamboo poles are jabbed into the dead person’s guts, and the drippings are collected. These drippings are smeared into the hair and skin of living relatives. Through this ritual, the strength of the deceased is believed to be transferred to the living. The leftover liquid is saved for later use as cooking oil.

smoked-corpses

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The Huli Warriors of Papua New Guinea and Their Elaborate Wigs

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The Huli Wigmen are a tribe that inhabit several villages in Papua New Guinea. They are known both as some of the most fierce warriors in the region and as masterful “hairstylists”who craft flamboyant wigs out of their own hair.

Not much is known about the origins of the Huli men’s tradition of crafting wigs from their own hair. When researchers discovered the tribe, they were already practicing the custom, and since they are believed to have lived in the area for at least 1,000 years, the tradition must have been developed sometime during this period. Males in their late teenage years and early 20′s leave their community behind and go to Bachelor school, where older man teach them all about manhood, including how to make beautiful wigs from their own hair. They are sequestered in the jungle for at least 18 months, after which they can return to their villages or stay a while longer to acquire more knowledge and improve their skills. The wig-making process starts with the trainees growing out their hair. When it’s big enough, the shaping of the wigs begins while the hair is still attached to their heads. Most of the shapes are saucer-like, so the men have to sleep with bricks and other objects under their heads to keep their heads off the ground and prevent the hair from getting flattened.

Huli-wigmen

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Ball Cutter Fish Kills Fishermen by Biting off Their Testicles

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Man-eating predators have always been part of legend and folk-lore. But here we have news of a real-life monster, interested in only one part of the human anatomy – the testicles.

The monster in question is in fact a 40lb fish called Pacu, found in the waters of Papua New Guinea. The Pacu are notorious for having eaten up the testicles of swimmers and anglers caught unawares, leaving them to bleed to death. This has led to the creatures being nicknamed ‘Ball Cutter’ fish. Initially, the villagers could only describe the monster-fish as something mysterious, like a ‘human in the water’. They finally got to see the predator up-close when a Pacu fish was recently caught by Jeremy Wade, a 53-year old British Fisherman, as a part of his TV series called River Monsters. The muscular fish was hard to catch, but Wade managed to track it down, reel it into his boat and wrestle it into submition. When he opened its jaws up with his hands, the teeth of the Pacu were found to be quite similar to human ones.

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