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The Yali tribe lives high up along the valley ridges in the Jayawijaya mountains. The land here is rugged and thinly populated. The tribes-people live in wooden huts with roofs made of tree-bark and they are grouped into small compounds. A vegetable garden and dense rainforest will surround each compound.


Trekking in the Yali area is more strenuous than in the lower reaches of the Valley but it is perfect for the fit trekker who wants to experience truly virgin rainforest and the unique people who live amidst it.

In summary, The Baliem Valley will provide a never to be forgotten experience. The inhabitants of the valley are essentially peace-loving agrarians who welcome visitors wholeheartedly.

The discovery of the Korowai tribe by the outside was even more recent than that of the Baliem Valley peoples, occurring as recently as 25 years ago. The Korowai populate the lowland rainforests of south-central Papua, a region that sits between 100 and 200 metres above sea-level.

 

Due to this very recent exposure to outside influences, the Korowai tribes are not as open and welcoming to tourists as the Yali, Dani and Lani for example. They remain on guard and suspicious of ways different to their own. This does of course make for an exciting and truly adventurous visit flying in by chartered Cessna from Jayapura to Yaniruma and trekking into Korowai country by foot and canoe.

The Korowai live in tree houses usually built between six and 25 metres above ground but they can be as high as 50 metres in times of tribal conflict. Stone and bone tools are the standard here - surely one of the last remaining cultures in the world which use these instruments as a matter of course. Any serious primitive art collector heavily prizes a Korowai stone-axe. These people also make heavy use of Flying Fox, Dog and Pig bones for body decoration.


They subsist by hunting and gathering in a similar fashion to The Asmat Tribe. Here are a people usually completely naked (maybe a leaf), fully immersed in nature and with no apparent interest in anything other than what they already are.