LIAM CREEDON | Yorkshire Post
‘NEVER SPEND MORE THAN 24 HOURS with a woman,” the village bigman huskily intones, pausing to scratch his nose with the sharpened tip of an arrow. “It will make a man lose his magic and his powers will be weakened.”
Advice from a Huli tribesman in the Papua New Guinea Highlands is generally heeded, especially if given by a man whose facial expression is masked under red and yellow war paint, whose nose is pierced by the long quill of a cassowary, and who is naked apart from a pig-tail belt. Seated around an open fire in the gloom of a smoke-stained hut, my interpreter explains that to preserve his “powers” the chief lives separately from his three wives.
Wife number one lives next door in a similar lean-to, sharing space with the pigs and children. Other wives and relatives are housed around the settlement, guarded on all sides by steep mud walls designed to deter attacks from marauding neighbours.