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August 9th marks a day where we recognise the indigenous people of the world. 
A world history full of conquests, slavery and migration means that few people are true “natives” of the country in which they reside. This article celebrates the indigenous tribes that still roam their native land and still live by the ancient values of their ancestors. 

The Chimbu / The Skeleton Dancers of the Simbu 

If you happened to be wandering round the rough hills of Papua New Guinea, you may just get the fright of your life. 
 
The mysterious tribe is one of 6 indigenous tribes in Papua New Guinea and are the most visually breath-taking. 
 
 
The Chimbu Dancers are known for painting their bodies in the style of skeletons. This is something that started off as a practice to scare away enemies but more recently has become more of a tourism attraction and is used for entertainment value, rather than warfare! 
 

The Nenets 

Most of us would not last five minutes in minus 50 degrees Celsius temperatures, but there are a group of about 10,000 people in Siberia that are quite happy to travel around sledges, herding reindeer. 
 
In the 1970s, oil and gas reserves were discovered and since then we have seen some colonization and industrialisation of the land. Climate change has also affected the area in a negative way. 
 
They are still going strong in the region and have adapted to the changes in the climate and the world in general. 
 
 

Kazakh Eagle Hunters 

Contrary to the title, they don’t hunt eagles. They use the eagles to hunt foxes, marmots and wolves. The prey they catch make for food and fur garments to keep them warm in the unforgiving mountains of Mongolia. 
 
When I turned 13, I got a new pencil case and football shirt. In this tribe, at 13, you become a hunter. If you are strong enough to carry a golden eagle, you are ready to go out into the world and contribute to the tribe. 
 
These days the tribe has around 100,000 people with around 250 eagle hunters left. The young men in the tribe are being drawn into civilised life, which has now resulted in more female hunters. 

Huli Wigmen 

Back over to Papua New Guinea to check out one of the other tribes that reside there. The Huli Wigmen are a tribe that you will see sporting peculiar hats. The hats are made out of their own hair, harvested from the other men in the 40,000-strong tribe. 
 
A sad story surrounds the Huli people. They remained undiscovered until 1934 when at least fifty of them were killed by two adventurers, looking for gold. It is worth mentioning that they always denied causing any deaths, but that’s not what the Huli’s say! 

Himba 

The Himba people live in northwest Namibia and southern Angola. They live in tipi-shaped houses built out of mud and dung. Interestingly, they have an ancestral fire that burns 24 hours a day, to pay homage to their god, Mukulu. Currently, there are around 30,000 members of the tribe. 
 
Unfortunately, the tribe has been threatened by new development in the area but they do maintain their traditional lifestyle. 
 
Tagged as: history
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