Very close to Goroka Airport, you have to visit the Asaro Mudmen, one of the most famous tribes in Papua New Guinea. We have built Eco-friendly rooms together with the tribes in Asaro, a 20 minutes drive from Goroka. Our rates include all, meaning all performances, shows, food, and accommodation are included.
Legend of the Asaro Mud Men of Papua New Guinea
The Mud Men, a small group of 150 tribes that share the Asaro Mountain jungle with exotic birds, are more colorful than most. They are covered in white clay from neck to toe and walk slowly, their whippet-like bodies taut as the bowstrings. Some people have arrows in their bows, while others have clubs and spears. Red-painted bamboo is found on some fingers. It can extend for several inches, and it can be filed to a razor-sharp point, much like giant claws. They are completely silent, even if they’re talking.
There is no written history to pinpoint when the Asaro started making masks. However, it is believed that the practice has been around for at least four generations.
Legend says that they were defeated and forced to flee to the Asaro River by an enemy tribe. They waited until it was dark before trying to flee. They were seen by the enemy rising from the mud banks and believed they were spirits. The enemy fled in fear and the Asaro tribespeople escaped.
The two men went to the village to check on the situation, but they were unaware that the enemy tribesmen still remained. The enemy became so scared that they fled to their village to hold a special ceremony to expel the spirits.
Another legend states that a man wanted to go to a wedding four generations ago but didn’t have the right clothes. He improvised and bore two holes in a string bag, then covered it with mud. The guests ran away when he wore mud on his skin to the wedding. He realized that it could be used for a long-time enemy. Their enemies fled for their lives, as was to be expected. They began to incorporate bamboo fingers into their attacks, which gave them a ghostly effect. This strategy was successful in many attacks.
These masks feature unusual designs such as very long ears that either go down to the chin or stick up at the top. There are also long, joined eyebrows attached to each ear, horns, and sideways mouths.