The Huli are a nomadic tribe from the Southern Highlands of Papua New Guinea. They live in the regions Tari, Margaraima and Komi, where they have been living for 1.000 years. The Huli were an unknown tribe for Europeans until November 1934, when explorers Mick and Dan Leahy discovered them. They speak Huli and Tok Pisin, but many of them speak the languages from the surrounding areas and some of them even speak English. They are one of the largest culture groups in Papua New Guinea.
The Huli are also known as ‘The Huli Wigmen’. In their culture, boys live with their mother until they reach the age of seven. Thereafter, they live with their father to learn certain skills, such as arrow and bow hunting, building mud walls and building homes. When they are 14 years old, it’s time for them to go to Wig School.
At this school, they are going to make a famous wig of their own hair. This process is one of the most important rituals in the life of the Huli. It takes about 18 months to grow their hair and to make a wig. The Huli men wear these wigs for ceremonial rituals and on a daily base. Therefore, they have multiple wigs, it can take 10 years of school to finish all these wigs. On graduation day, the men paint their faces with yellow ochre, and leave to find a woman to marry.
Each year the Huli are present at the Sing-Sing, a festival and ceremony
in which the various tribes from the area participate. It’s a meeting where all the chiefs gather to discuss their issues, but also to present their own culture and strengths as a tribe. The Huli are real showmasters: they wear their special wigs, and they decorate their faces with yellow and red paint. When it’s their turn to present their tribe, they leave a stunning impression behind. It’s not without reason that the Huli have won the Sing Sing festival more than once...
Huli & modern professionals
The Huli know all about performing in the spotlights, for which you sometimes need to be just a little bit over the top. They know how to impress and convince another by shining on stage. A good preparation is key, and you need to know exactly how to prepare, how to behave and how to play your audience. As business nomads, that’s something we come across as well. It might not happen every day, but we all have speeches, presentations and other gatherings, for which we need to enter the stage and to blow away our audience!