Within the former cannibal tribe of Indonesia SMOKING their dead ancestors to save them
Meet the mountain tribe who smoke their ancestors daily to preserve their mummified bodies and force women to cut off their fingers after losing a loved one.
The indigenous Dani tribe lives in the isolated Baliem Valley in West Papua, Indonesia, and includes habits such as amputating the fingers of women who have lost a loved one with a hunter wearing an unusual piece of underwear – the Koteka – to which it is commonly referred to as a penis sheath.
And the Dani people who were only discovered by Western scientists 80 years ago – have passed on a series of bizarre and macabre traditions through generations of tribal tribes.
A member of Dani carries wild boar tusks like rings through the nose with feathers adorning his head in the isolated Baliem Valley in West Papua, Indonesia
An ancestor cooks the hunted pig with the help of a & # 39; steam oven & # 39; in the open air with the help of leaves (left). Wimontok Mabel was a warrior chief who lived 250 years ago and is kept by a strict daily process (right)
An older woman smokes a cigarette and her body is painted with white paint
One ritual involves the use of a stone ax to remove the fingertips of tribal women every time she loses a close relative to emphasize the pain of her loss and appease the dead relative.
Similarly grotesque, the tribe is strongly linked to cannibalism in the past, although neither of the horrific traditions have taken place in the tribe since the 1990s.
The images were made by Italian travel photographer Gianluca Chiodini, 41, who spent days searching for the isolated mountain tribe.
After using various means of transport to reach the remote Dani people, Chiodini was greeted with & # 39; kindness & # 39; and he was astonished when he saw the mummified remains of a 250-year-old chef.
& # 39; The Dani are by far the most beautiful tribe in the region – the men have penis sheaths (Koteka) and wild boar tusks like rings through the nose and colorful make-up paint – you will undoubtedly sit and watch warriors, & # 39; Chiodini out.
& # 39; I studied mummification before I arrived, but knew that it was only luck that I was able to see one of the preserved corpses.
& # 39; Dani is said to have a total of seven mummies, but only two can be seen by foreigners. & # 39;
An older woman shows six amputated fingers to represent the loss of six loved ones. The tradition has not taken place since the 1990s
Women stand in line to sing a tribal song and dance with face paint and feathers. Photographer, Gianluca Chiodini, described them as & # 39; by far the most beautiful tribe in the region & # 39;
The mummified carcass of Wimontok Mabel, a Dani chef who lived 250 years ago and had 25 wives. The mummy is greased every day with a balm made from pork fat and a fire is lit that burns for up to six hours
A cultural meeting takes place between the women and children of the tribe while a fire smokes around them. Women have to wait their turn during the parties
& # 39; To preserve the body, it is greased every day with a balm made of pork fat and a fire is lit that burns for up to six hours. This has been happening for 250 years every day. & # 39;
He continued: & # 39; The mummy is protected in a hut where access is strictly forbidden and only a select few may touch the dead.
& # 39; The mummy that I saw was a village chief, his name was Wimontok Mabel and he was a glorious warrior. He lived more than 250 years ago and had 25 women. Peace for his soul. & # 39;
A young Dani member with beads, feathers and a leather bracelet eats while suspiciously staring at the camera lens
A Dani tribesman with a koteka, better known as a penis sheath while making salt. Photographer Gianluca Chiodini, 41, spent days finding the isolated mountain tribe
The Dani people were discovered by an American zoologist in 1938, the first time their existence was recorded by an outsider.
Richard Archbold was on an expedition to New Guinea when he saw the Dani people from an airplane.
According to Chiodini, there have been some major changes in the 80 years, but some important traditions are still being maintained.
& # 39; The first contact by a Westerner was less than a century ago and the Dani were found in the Stone Age and even practiced cannibalism according to some sources, & # 39; Gianluca said.
A Dani tribesman wears an impressive array of feathers, fur and beads. He also has wild boar tusks connected by his nose
The tribesman makes a penis tube from an elongated pumpkin. In recent decades, the Indonesian authorities have applied laws that have given Dani their traditions and culture, but even today some still wear Koteka
Dani tribe stands opposite each other and is seen with tusks of wild boar. The Dani people were discovered by an American zoologist in 1938, the first time their existence was recorded by an outsider
& # 39; In recent decades, the Indonesian authorities have applied laws that have given Dani their traditions and culture, but even today some still wear & # 39; Koteka & # 39 ;. The village chief even told me how I could build a Koteka for me with an elongated pumpkin.
& # 39; Cannibalism has been abandoned in the past and now they prefer pig festivals. Men kill a pig with bow and arrow, while women kill a rudimentary open air & # 39; steam oven & # 39; prepare with leaves and eventually everyone will eat the pig.
He described how the women should wait their turn during the party.
Chiodini said: & I saw a woman with a strange hand and could not see what was wrong.
The 250-year-old chef is greased daily with a balm made from pork fat and a fire can be kept for up to six hours. These rituals have been happening for 250 years every day
& # 39; As I got closer, I realized that several fingers were missing. They told me that the tradition of the Dani states that when a close relative dies, the woman must have her fingers chopped with a stone ax to emphasize the pain of the loss and to calm the spirit of the dead.
& # 39; Today it's forbidden, but you can still see the amputated hands of the older women. & # 39;
Chiodini said he was happy to capture the beauty of the Dani people and preserve the traditions in his work.
He added: & # 39; Despite their aggressive appearance and the isolation in which they live, they are friendly. It may take a while before they trust outsiders. That's why I decided to take some time and spend a few days with them.
& # 39; Slow photography & # 39; is always a winning strategy and hopefully people can see that there is beauty everywhere. & # 39;
A Dani archer directs his target from his vestigial platform and wears a large black feather off his head and a Koteka
The group gathers while women have a rudimentary open air & # 39; steam oven & # 39; prepare using leaves and eventually everyone eats the pig
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