Friday 11 August 2023


Tribe Chief Eli Mabel holds mummified remains of his ancestor, Agat Mamete Mabel, in the village of Wogi, in Wamena, the long-isolated home of the Dani tribe high in the Papuan central highlands. The tiny, blackened, shrunken figure he carries was Agat Mamete Mabel, the chieftain that ruled over this remote village in Papua New Guinea some 250 years ago.

Honoured upon death with a custom reserved only for important elders and local heroes among the Dani people – he was embalmed and preserved with smoke and animal oil.

Nine generations on and his descendent Eli Mabel is a chieftain in Wogi village.

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