Baliem Valley, Papua


I thought of discovering the diversity of my beautiful country on a shoestring by myself and hopefully find some  roots of its unique art forms and craftmanship among its various ethnic groups and particularly indigenous people and tribes…
My adventure started in the most eastern corner of this vast archipelago of islands, Wamena, the largest trading post in West Papua's highlands, from which I wanted to explore Baliem Valley and get to know some of its indigenous tribesmen belonging to a number of related ethnic groups, particularly the Dani, Lani and Yali.

My trekking would bring me through some of the most scenic, remote and landslide-prone mountain areas and valleys with stops in Ugem, Kilise and Kurima…

During my trekking I was engaging with some of the most friendly and helpful people I’d ever met - the Dani tribe, living a humble, but content life in round thatched roof huts and on a diet of mostly sweet potatoes. The ones not converted to Christianityby missionaries, believed in shamans, carried sharp weapons, the elderly their traditional costumes, proudly upholding their customs, traditions and rites, in absence of a modern lifestyle.