Huli Wigmen engage tourists

self adornment and ethnicity in the Papua New Guinea Highlands

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


While for Western tourists Huli decorative styles are the authentic culture of a timeless present, Huli, dancing for tourists, feel a sense of superiority and empowerment in the face of foreign strength and wealth. The article shows the way Huli see self-adornment as part of a core of skills and knowledge inherited from their ancestors. It is one of the facets by means of which Huli distinguish themselves from their pre-contact as well as their current cultural neighbours. A recent revival of Huli dance performances, which have acquired world-wide fame, allows Huli men to pursue self-determination and affect their own destiny in a wider world. The encounter with tourists and the creative tradition of self-adornment and display in performances for tourists express Huli desire and agency within the modern world system.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-135
Number of pages15
JournalPacific Tourism Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Papua New Guinea
  • ethnicity
  • self-adornment
  • Huli wigmen

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