The Legend of the Skeleton Tribe
The Skeleton Tribe is a tribe that can be found in Mindima, Simbu’s province. An old legend about the monster that lived in the cave is the true story of this community.
It is believed that many hunters who went into the mountains 200 years ago did not return. People from the valley began to worry about the disappearance of our hunters. A small group of warriors explored the mountain and found a cave that contained many skeletons. Although it was a small cave, they immediately saw a large monster within. They decided to wait to paint their bodies with skeleton bones made of black and white clay to fool the monster. To fool the monster, they laid skeleton bones mixed together between the real ones to make them look like humans. The monster fell asleep and the heroes returned to their village.
Alphonse, who is the tribal chief, explained that his grandfather used small, undefined strokes to paint white bones. These were only big white strokes of pottery, but I wanted to keep the tradition alive. In the 1970s, I began to add more detail to the skeleton bones. My nephews and sons took up the tradition, as well as my grandchildren.
If you want to know if the Skeleton exists, I will tell you. Our tradition has existed for 200 years. I created the painting 50 years ago. We are still reminding those who defeated the monster in the cave.