Photographer's Note

The indigenous people of this province are Melanesians with black skins and curly hair. They generally have a root crop subsistence agriculture based on sweet potatoes and taros.

The people of Papua obtain their starch from the sago palm which gives and extremely generous yield for remarkably little effort. Feral and domesticated pigs on the island is originally came from Southeast Asia was an event which has had vast cultural and ritual significance for its people. Pigs are often treated as members of the family and are sometimes suckled by women.

While many other people of the world were still hunters and gatherers, Papua people had begun to garden. After fairly recently, many of them lived with a simple Stone Age Culture wearing little clothing and decorating their bodies with paintings, shells, pig tusks, feathers and skins. There is a plethora of language in the province, perhaps some 250 in all, each representing a tribal group which mixes little with the others. Some of the more remote groups still have virtually no contact with the outside world. In recent years, Indonesians from elsewhere in the country have come to this province.

This valley has been the most visited part of the island, especially in recent years. The Dani Tribes speak related Papuan, or non - Austronesian language and live in the high central range of Papua Island, the most eastern province of Indonesia.

Until the last decades the Dani tribes were some of the most isolated populations by swamps and mountains. They grew root crops, raised pig and used polished stone axes and adzes. They didn't make pottery (which means "sign of the modernity"), but otherwise their technology was very much like that of the Neolithic of the Old and New Worlds.

There may be 250,000 Dani living in the central mountains, many live scattered among the steep mountain slopes. The Valley has one of the highest densities of population in Papua Province. The Dani Tribes build their huts in a compound nicely express both environmental adaptation and Dani's character. The men's and women's huts have thick thatched roofs which keep rain, yet retain the heat from the earth, along with just enough smoke to discourage the mosquito.

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Additional Photos by Bima Aryasena (yasin) Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Silver Note Writer [C: 34 W: 14 N: 47] (151)
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