In August 2012 I crossed from West Papua to Papua New Guinea, planning to stay a few days in Vanimo, a small border town, to renew the Indonesian visa. The process took only one day, so, why not, I left east for a short trip, just to have a sight of Sepik River.
I arrived in Pagwi, on the Sepik bank, where I looked for a boat to go downstream, back to the coast. But the first canoe which stopped was heading upstream. I hopped in and ended up on a two-month journey along Sepik River.
My first stop was in Ambunti, an administrative center, on Middle Sepik. There, under a religious–public administration, a few ethnic groups divided into clans, live together. On Sepik, most of the public administration, education and other services are run by Catholic and Protestant missions.
In Ambunti I met a few “savvy men” from the Kwoma clans, who took me to the world of Sepik people. I met tribal artists and art, tangled up in a net of taboos and superstitions, I saw churches with spirits-houses like make-up (or vice versa?). I watched a trial held by a village court, applying customary laws. (After the trial, I even had my share of the compensation received by “my family”). And I listened to stories from the local mythology told by the “savvy men”.
I post here photos I took in Ambunti.