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THE TOULAMBI

( LIKE GHOSTS IN THE FOREST )

The Toulambi
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For centuries the fill tribes of the Owen ranmge in Papua, New Guinea have lived in isolation to avoid war. In a landscape of desne tropical rainforests each tribe stay within a well established territory. This explains why some of them have survived ino the new millenium without any contact with the outside world.

Others previously known have left their villages to move deeper in the forest to escape confilcts or the religious zeal of evangical preachers only to be rediscovered and labeled as lost tribes. European explorers first encoutnered the Toulambi in 1993.

They were almost entirely decimated by maleria. Modern medicine helped to stop the ravages of the disease. They didn't believe white men existed but if they did they must be the 'living dead.'

Taking a lot of care with their appearance, the Toulambi men wear a bird fromt eh Cassowary bird through the nose, large enckaces of river shells and bird of paradise feathers in their hair. They must look their best to attract a mate and reproduce. They are hunters and gatherers. The entire tribe moves in uncanny silence for fear of altering the game. They know the migration trails iof animals and the best time of year to find fish, the growing cycles of the palms, bamboo, wild fruits and the roots they rely on. Always on the move. The rhythym of their lives is that of the jungle. It gives them no time to create complex art, to develop science or conceive profound metaphysical philosophies.

The Toulambis consume wild tobacco heavily. The first transatlantic tribes found by Europeans said the white man gave them alcohol but they got their revenge by giving him tobacco.

The Toulambis are amongst the very last witnesses of our distant past. Whe the last tribe is contacted and moved from the Stone Age into the modern world, from being free and masters of their own desstiny to being poor and at the lowest level of our western society, it is a part of ourselves that will vanish forever.
The Toulambi
The Toulambi The Toulambi
The Toulambi
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