By travelling northwest from Goroka in Papua New Guinea’s Eastern Highlands, visitors are led to the isolated village of Asaro, which despite its remote setting has become known for being home to the distinct Asaro Mud Men.
People now make the journey here to meet the villagers of Asaro, see how they live by farming the verdant land around them, and to hear the story of the village’s infamous warriors. Asaro’s warriors originally developed their unique image through covering themselves in grey mud and wearing heavy clay masks before raiding other tribes’ villages.
As visitors are welcomed in with open arms, the Asaro Mud Men put on a performance of how they once went into battle, and the villagers cook up their specialty dish mumu, in which meat, along with sweet potatoes and vegetables from the land, are cooked on hot stones in the ground, under layers of dried banana leaves. Despite the village’s remote setting, trips can easily be arranged through local tour guides, while staying in Goroka.
All images © Lauren Jade Hill