The Tari Valley is the home of the Huli people, a proud tribal group who still live largely as their ancestors once did. The Huli Wigmen, so called on account of their ornate ceremonial wigs, are one of Papua New Guinea's most recognisable cultures, whose song and dance is based on the mating ritual of birds of paradise.
For the majority of villagers around Tari, life remained largely unchanged until the start of the 21st century. However the discovery of natural gas and mineral reserves brought a sudden and unexpected increase in wealth, and the resulting economic and commercial activity has thrust Tari abruptly into the 21st century.
Some deeply-embedded social and tribal structures are being rapidly forgotten, however this is one of the few remaining areas where people adhere fiercely to their ancestral beliefs, and where a man’s wealth and importance is still measured by the quantity of pigs, wives and land that he is able to amass. Any encounter with the flamboyant Huli is bound to be memorable!
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