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Dried Dead Guy

The Menyamya area of Papua New Guinea is a fun place. This was pretty much the center of head hunting and eating your enemies at one time. Some areas ate their own dead relatives as a sign of respect. The departed were consulted in important matters, asked for protection and nice things done to keep them where they were supposed to stay. One of the nice things was to chop off some fingers of a young girl which were left to dry, or burned as an offering. Another nice thing was to smoke the departed over a fire, like this guy, until they were mummified. They were then plopped in a chair over looking their old homes. Offerings of money or food are left for them.

The invasion of Christian missionaries kind of put a damper on all this merriment in some sections. The tribes still go to war and the population is so spread out that it's impossible to have everyone living by "civilized" standards. The rumor is "no one" practices cannibalism anymore.

Over 800 languages are spoken in Papua New Guinea, a neat bit of trivia.


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