33 hours of travel and 11 time zones later I had finally reached one of the most culturally diverse, little known and remote countries in the world.
And ‘remote’ is a very apt word when describing PNG; along with ‘raw’, ‘untamed’, ‘complex’ and ‘charming’.
Papua New Guinea is a country that certainly ticks to a different beat; it’s an explosion of colour and culture, confounding pigeonholing.
“It’s all about land, pigs or women…in that order” my guide casually explained by way of introduction to the Highlands of Papua New Guinea. I was lucky enough to meet the different tribes; learning more about them, their traditions and interestingly the encroachment of modern life.
In a densely populated area where pigs equate to mobile wealth and status, and travelling armed is still de rigeur if you’re a Huli Wigman, it’s always going to be a dynamic situation as I very much discovered for myself.
Despite modern life encroaching fast, you can get a very privileged insight into the traditions of the tribes of Papua New Guinea, seeing them in their traditional attire or watching them at a ‘sing sing’, the biggest of which is the Goroka Show in September every year featuring more than 100 tribes.
Below are just some of my favourite pictures from my trip.