Hasselberg's debut anthropological guide enlightens, informs and entertains, depicting the region of Tufi, Papua New Guinea, with passion, drama and colorful pageantry.
The book presents a land that few readers have seen. The author briefly visited Tufi in 2005 and was impressed by Tufi's warmth and hospitality; he returned in 2006 and began a mission to experience every nuance of the region during
subsequent visits. Here he provides a wealth of richly detailed tribal stories told around campfires and during canoe rides and hikes through Tufi's forests, as well as hundreds of colorful photographs.
The book vividly describes such tribes as the Arifama, Maisin, Korafe and Doriri as it delves into Tufi's past. Before 1900, Tufi endured tribal conflicts and violent, bloody battles. For example, through a series of journal-like entries, a young native named Toku explains how he shot a Doriri warrior who he claims was about to kill and eat him.
Hasselberg also describes the lives of native Tom and his tribe, the Miniafia, whose lives are shaped by their landscape; their garden serves as their calendar and their clock. The author writes of Marasa, the home of spectacular waterfalls and purportedly mysterious ghosts that whisper behind their watery veils.
Hasselberg reveals the pain and suffering Papua New Guinea endured during World War II as the Pacific war engulfed the region; young Patrick, he writes, served on the front lines with Australian and U.S. troops as a "carrier" of killed and wounded soldiers at Milne Bay. He also writes about how when the cyclone Hannah struck Tufi in 1972, villages were devastated as "the coconut trees broke like matchsticks"; the resulting tragedy uniting Tufi's people.
Finally, the author profiles present-day Papua New Guinea, with glimpses of such towns as Alotau, Popondetta and Port Moresby, each told from a villager's point of view.
A delightful, informative read and a stunning visual treat that reveals a little-known part of the world.