One of the indigenous groups inhabiting the Baliem Valley region, in the midst of the Jayawijaya mountain range of Papua Indonesia, is the Yali ‘Lords of the Earth’. They live in the virgin forests of the highlands. The Yali are officially recognised as pygmies, with men standing at just 150 cm tall.
“If the hand does nothing, the mouth does not chew”
Papuan indigenous groups, different in appearance and language, have a similar way of life. They are all polygamist and conduct rituals for important occasions at which reciprocal exchange of gifts is obligated. The Koteka, penis gourd, is a piece of traditional clothing used to distinguish indigenous identity.