PAPUA NOVA GVINEJA – PAPUA NEW GUINEA

Majka, deca i prase-Mother, children and the piglet

Majka, deca i prase-Mother, children and the piglet

Mali avion na travnatoj pisti kraj aerodromske zgrade-A small plane on the grass runway by the airport building

Mali avion na travnatoj pisti kraj aerodromske zgrade-A small plane on the grass runway by the airport building

 

Pripadnici naroda Huli ili naroda perika - Huli or wig people

Pripadnici naroda Huli ili naroda perika – Huli or wig people

Pripadnici naroda Huli ili naroda perika- Huli or wig people

Pripadnici naroda Huli ili naroda perika- Huli or wig people

Pripadnici naroda Huli ili naroda perika-Huli or wig people

Pripadnici naroda Huli ili naroda perika-Huli or wig people

Punjenje gorivom-Refueling the plane

Punjenje gorivom-Refueling the plane

Radovi u polju-Field work

Radovi u polju-Field work

Seoski poglavica ukrasen perima rajske ptice-The village chief decorated with the paradise bird's feathers

Seoski poglavica ukrasen perima rajske ptice-The village chief decorated with the paradise bird’s feathers

Spremanje hrane na obali reke Sepik-Preparing food on the shore of Sepik River

Spremanje hrane na obali reke Sepik-Preparing food on the shore of Sepik River

Stariji razred peva himnu-Singing the national anthem

Stariji razred peva himnu-Singing the national anthem

Donji kapci-Lower eyelids

Donji kapci-Lower eyelids

Dve zene seoskog staresine-Two wives of the village chief

Dve zene seoskog staresine-Two wives of the village chief

Kanuom po reci Karavari-Kanoe ride along the Karawari river

Kanuom po reci Karavari-Kanoe ride along the Karawari river

Ovako spava da ne pokvari frizuru-The way he sleeps not to spoil haircut

Ovako spava da ne pokvari frizuru-The way he sleeps not to spoil haircut

Divlja lepota. To je pravi izraz za ovu zemlju u kojoj je sve divlje:
neobuzdana priroda koja sledi samo svoje zakone i ne prilagođava se nikome,
divlji narodi koji tu žive i koji se prilagođavaju samo prirodi, ali ne i
jedni drugima. Ovde nema zakonitosti na koje smo navikli u takozvanom
civilizovanom svetu. Ovde svaki narod, svako pleme i svaki klan imaju svoje
zakone i pravila. Jer oni su saznali da postoji neki drugi svet tek
tridesetih godina XX veka. U pojedinim delovima zemlje kanibalizam je još
uvek normalna, ritualna pojava. Na taj način se, između stalog,  kažnjava
neprijatelj ako je ušao na tuđu teritoriju i ukrao prase, koje je, inače,
najvažnije sredstvo plaćanja. Njima se, između ostalog, kupuju i žene, prema
kojima papuanska kultura nema nikakvog poštovanja. Kad je već kupljena i
plaćena brojnim prasićima, žena postaje objekat kojim se u potpunosti
raspolaže, a veoma često tuče i ponižava. U suštini takvog odnosa leži
iskonski strah od žene i njenih magija. Zbog toga se muškarci od malih nogu
uče kletvama kojima će se odbraniti od njih i zato žive odvojeno od žena. U
njihovim selima kuće za muškarce nalaze se u prvom redu, a smeštaj za žene,
decu i prasići na začelju sela.
Vijugava reka Karavari preseca ogromnu neprohodnu džunglu, koja, saznanjem
koliko ste izolovani od bilo kog dela sveta, samo podseća na zelenu smrt.
Aviončić dvosed, koji je s teškom mukom sleteo na improvizovanu travnatu
stazu, jedina je veza sa svetom, a ponovo će doći verovatno za nekoliko
dana. Gromovi koji udaraju nad rekom kao da su na dohvat ruke. Malarija je
normalna pojava. Ipak, kad svane dan, krstarenje rekom daruje svu lepotu
netaknute prirode i plemena koja žive svojim izvornim životom duž reka
Karavari i Sepik.  Tu je čak i škola u kojioj deca pevaju papuansku himnu
gostima. Sve deluje idilično, a ipak nestvarno, zbog saznanja da možda samo
par kilometara odatle živi neki drugi narod, sa drugačijim jezikom i drugim
običajima od ovog među kojim se nalazite, možda čak neprijateljski. I tako
oko osam stotina plemenskih grupa ili klanova i isto toliko jezika. Neki su
do pre sedamdeset godina živeli u totalnoj izolaciji od sveta, u
nepristupačnim dolinama koje su danas antropološki raj.
Kroz guste oblake s teškom mukom slećemo na teritoriju jednog od
najkoloritnijih naroda koji se zove Huli. Ljudi su okićeni perima rajske
ptice i sa neobično oblikovanom kosom. To su perike čudnog oblika, od kose
koja raste tokom pola godine usamljeničkog života mladića u džungli. Nakon
što dovoljno izraste, od kose se napravi perika, koja se na poseban način
oblikuje pomoću dugih drvenih igala, često boji u crveno i kasnije koristi u
ceremonijama. Lica se premazuju svim bojama, a zajedno sa maskama, kljovama,
perjem i školjkama provučenim kroz uši i nozdrve, kao i mnogim životinjskim
detaljima na sebi, veoma često deluju zastrašujuće. To verovatno i jeste
svrha: uplašiti protivnika.
Plemenski sukobi ni danas nisu retkost, pa se poneki neprijatelj katkada
ritualno pojede. Brojni misionari kroz svoje crkve neprestano propovedaju da
se to više ne radi, pa ako pritom i neko od njih bude pojeden, tako je,
valjda, moralo biti.
Svaki posao nosi svoj rizik.

Mart 2008.
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Wild beauty. That is the correct description of a country in which
everything is wild: the untamed nature obeying only its own laws and not
adapting to anything or anyone, wild peoples who live here and adapt only to
nature, but not to one another. There are no rules that we are used to in
the so-called civilised society. All the peoples, tribes and clans here have
their separate rules and laws. They actually found out that another,
different world exists outside their own, only in the 1930s. In certain
parts of the country cannibalism is still a regular ritual occurrence. This
is also a means of taking revenge on an enemy, amongst other ways, if found
trespassing and stealing a piglet which is the most important payment
instrument. Pigs are also used to buy women for whom the Papuan culture has
no respect whatsoever. When a woman is bought and paid for by numerous
piglets, she becomes an object at her master’s total disposal and very often
she is beaten and humiliated. At the core of such a relationship is a
rudimentary fear of women and their magic devices. That is why men are
taught, from a very early age, to curse women in order to repel their magic,
and they live separately from them. In their villages, men’s huts are in the
front row whereas the accommodation housing women, children and pigs is at
the very back.
The winding Karawari River cuts through a vast, impenetrable jungle, which
reminds me of green death especially after I find out how isolated you are
here from the rest of the world. A small, two seater airplane, landing on an
improvised grass path with great difficulty, is the only connection with the
outside world and it is going to return, probably, in a few days’ time. A
clap of thunder and lightning above the river seem to be so near that you
could reach them with your hand. Malaria is a regular occurrence. Yet, when
the day breaks and you cruise down the river, you receive a gift of beauty
of the untouched nature and the tribes who live their primordial lives along
the rivers Karawari and Sepik. There is even a primary school where children
sing the Papuan national anthem to the foreign visitors. Everything seems
idyllic, yet surreal because of the knowledge that, maybe, only a few
kilometres away another tribe with a different language is to be found,
their customs completely different from those of the people you are with;
they could even be hostile. And there are around 800 various tribes and as
many languages. Some of them have lived in total isolation until some
seventy years ago, in inaccessible valleys which are now an exploratory
anthropologist’s heaven.
Through heavy clouds and with great difficulty we land on the territory of
one of the most colourful tribes, the Huli. Their people are decorated with
Bird of paradise feathers and their hair is styled unusually. They wear
unusual wigs which are crafted from human hair – young men’s – who spend
half a year in isolation in the jungle. Once enough hair has grown, it is
made into a wig shaped by special long wooden sticks, it is dyed in red and
then worn at various ceremonies. The faces are painted in all colours, and
together with masks, tusks, feathers and shells fixed through pierced
earlobes and nostrils, and many animal details on their bodies, they present
a very scary picture. That is probably the purpose of it all: to scare the
enemy away.
Tribal clashes are not uncommon even today, and sometimes the enemy is eaten
up as part of the ritual. Numerous missionaries preach, through their
various churches, that this is not acceptable any more, and then when some
of them get cannibalised, it was, perhaps, God’s will.
Every occupation carries its own risks.

March 2008

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