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Exotic Tribes
Be a responsible traveller. Show tribal people respect and meet them on their premises. Visiting people with a different lifestyle and culture could sometimes be a very rewarding adventure, but be aware of that many tribal communities are extremely vulnerable to outside influences. All tribal people need to be protected from tourists in order to preserve their unique lifestyle and cultures. Travellers should understand that some tribes would like to live undisturbed, and that visit would be an intrusion.

Reports about dinosaur crocodiles in Papua New Guinea: true or false?

There have been many rumours the previous years about huge Dinosaur-like reptiles in Papua New Guinea. It`s an adventurer`s dream to observes big monsters, but when they feel their presence it`s certaintly with mixed feelings. I know!

Photo. A carved out head of a crocodile on a dugout canoe. It was performed by the Insect tribe in Swagup, Sepik, Papua New Guinea, who adore crocodiles, and use them for rituals. © Travel Explorations.

This large island in the Pacific still hides many mysteries in its vast swamps, wild rivers, deep valleys, high mountains and dense jungles. Salt and freshwater crocodiles abound and emerge mostly at night, and there is not easy to spot them. By using a torch it`s possible to observe the reflex from their eyes, but you will never know how big the crocodiles are before you are pretty close. That could be the last thing you ever will see.

Adoration of the animal spirits was the first human religion, and has been practiced since around 2 million to 8000 years BC. The crocodile is a symbol of motherly protection. It has a connection to Mother Earth. This great and ancient animal is a protector against manipulation. It understands fraud and deceit, and revenge by having the ability to be patient. Is a symbol of initiation. Crocodile understand the weather. It has access to ancient wisdom. 

You don`t play or argue with crocodiles. I know what I talking about - with strongly mixed feelings. It`s because I had the big "pleasure" of experiencing an unexpected encounter with a croc monster in Papua New Guinea. Read my article on Travel Explorations: Dramatic crocodile hunting in Papua New Guinea! "We were joining the disreputable Insect tribe on a crocodile hunt in the late evening. Help, what are we going to do? The spear broke immediately, and the big crocodile rose from the muddy water, and jumped towards us........"

Neither temples nor special sites were designated for the Insect tribe`s worship of crocodile, but I am sure it was in the tribesmen blood and daily rituals. Just as the Insect tribe, crocodile worship is something many tribes have learned from their ancestors, and will probably be a part of their tradition forever. In addition, hunting crocodiles is really macho, and give the tribesmen status in the tribes.

The stories and rumours about gigantic crocodile monsters will never die. Through history there has always been a great number of unverified stories. The measurement is valid only if it was taken with a tape measure from the tip of the snout to the tip of the tail. The most believable record-holder for the longest saltwater crocodile was a massive adult male killed on the Fly River in Papua New Guinea in 1982.

The animal had already been skinned when a visiting zoologist measured it at 20.3 feet (6.2 meters), and because we know skins shrink slightly it's likely the animal was nearly 21 feet long. It would have weighed between 1 and 1.5 tons!

Photos. Small crocodiles in a hut in the village of the Insect tribe. © Travel Explorations.

Salami, the sweet daughter of our excellent guide Phillip, shows our "big" crocodile caught.

When I and my friend Geir explored the jungle in Papua Guinea in 1999 there were mostly small crocodiles as shown on the photo.

The number of crocodiles in the Sepik have been substantly reduced by hunters. The largest species of crocodile, also Earth's largest reptile, is the Saltwater Crocodile. Its found in northern Australia and throughout South-east Asia. But who knows; maybe there are some unknown species of crocodile looking reptiles still hiding the deep jungle in Papua Guinea. Who dares to find more about it?

Stein Morten Lund, 16 August 2006

Additional information
For for information about gigant crocodiles, read the report Lost World Of Papua New Guinea, by Jordan P. Niednagel, TrueAuthority.com - 5/04). Click on the link: True Authority Crocodile reports.

Read more about crocodiles in Papua New Guinea on our website Travel Explorations. In 1999 Stein Morten Lund and Geir Moen from Norway come up in big trouble when they hunted crocodiles in the night together with the Insect tribe.

The culture of Papua New Guinea (PNG) is many-sided and complex. It is estimated that more than 1000 different cultural groups exist in PNG, and most groups have their own language.

Because of this diversity, in which they take pride, many different styles of cultural expression have emerged; each group has created its own expressive forms in art, dance, weaponry, costumes, singing, music, architecture and much more.

On the Sepik River, there is a world-renowned tradition of wood carving. These carvers create forms of plants or animals, because they believe these are their ancestor beings and because they feel they are beautiful. They also create traditional skull portraits.

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Meeting the Mudmen
in Papua New Guinea

See the video HERE

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