world map

Papua New Guinea

Otto experiences the tribes of Papua New Guinea at first hand

date of entry 01/09/2011
mileage 770,943

capital Port Moresby

area 462.840 km²

population 6.858.000

GDP 9.796 M. US-Dollar

official language English/Pidgin/Hiri Motu

Papua New Guinea is the eastern part of New Guinea, the second largest island in the world after Greenland. Gunther Holtorf spent around a month in the country. He was particularly impressed by the variety of tribal groups that live there. At a big tribal festival, he saw more than 110 of them in all their splendour. But he also has one bad memory of the country. In Papua New Guinea, the crime rate is so high that many cars have security grilles on their windows. Otto wasn’t fitted with them and, as a result, was broken into almost immediately. Fortunately, the thieves didn’t find anything of value to steal and so, apart from the smashed window, there was very little damage.
  • The downside of Papua New Guinea: the high crime rate. According to Gunther, all the trucks had grilles over their windows and Otto was broken into. However, the thieves didn’t steal anything valuable.
    15  of  15
  • The world’s largest tribal festival takes place every year in Papua New Guinea.
    1  of  15
  • In 2011, while Otto was visiting, more than 110 different tribal groups gathered for the festival, according to Gunther Holtorf.
    2  of  15
  • The geography of the island encouraged the development of different tribes which were isolated from one another for centuries...
    3  of  15
  • The differences are reflected in the clothing and body painting of the individual representatives.
    4  of  15
  • These two men insisted on trying out the driver’s seat…
    5  of  15
  • …but there was not always room inside Otto for the magnificent headdresses.
    6  of  15
  • Some of the tribes from Papua New Guinea are regarded as Stone Age people.
    7  of  15
  • During the celebrations, they appeared in their traditional costumes…
    8  of  15
  • …but were happy to make use of modern equipment, for example as protection from the sun.
    9  of  15
  • The archaic masks worn by these two men are impressive…
    10  of  15
  • …as is the magnificent overall appearance of this woman.
    11  of  15
  • A gathering of this kind attracts a great deal of media interest.
    12  of  15
  • But, as always, Gunther Holtorf tried to make direct contact with the people, with some success, as this picture shows.
    13  of  15
  • Everyone wanted to be photographed with Otto and, in the end, so many people were standing around the car that it could hardly be seen.
    14  of  15
  • Video: Papua New Guinea – between the Stone Age and the modern era