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I am honestly speechless by this story. It's a story that I've been wanting to tell for 7 years, and finally, I DID IT!
Papua Island is a wild place, to say the least. In many ways, it's considered ‘the last frontier' in terms of off-the-beaten-path places on earth. And I went there completely alone, in search of the world's last humans who eat other humans. It's the last known place on earth to have this kind of bizarre culture and tradition.
Papua Island is (politically) split into two halves. The Western half is a part of Indonesia, while the Eastern half is Papua New Guinea, an independent country. I showed up in West Papua, all alone, and had to figure out how I was going to travel deep into the jungle to meet the tribe.
After a massive logistical nightmare (see my BTS video on my 2nd channel linked above), I ended up making it to the tribe where I spent 2 days, and it was absolutely incredible to learn about their unique way of life.
I'd love to hear your feedback on this story because my team and I put A LOT of time, effort, and energy into it — and I think it's the future for this channel. If you are reading this, I am doing a contest where the ‘most liked' or creative comment will win a prize – so feel free to share your thoughts!
I love you guys, and cheers to the first video of 2023! I hope you have a happy, successful, and adventurous year full of amazing travels and positive vibes. More stories coming soon!
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Cannibalism has been around for Millenniums but there's still one Island Where it is practiced to this day [Applause] [Music] I'm walking through the jungle in Popwood right now they're all holding Bow and arrows behind me okay yeah okay Traveling to Papua Island in many ways Is the Pinnacle of exploration this Remote melanesian island is larger than Texas and is the most diverse place on Earth with 312 different tribes speaking Over a thousand unique languages In my eyes Papua is the climax of Anthropology the study of humans who Have been living on this island for more Than 65 000 years so it is 601 am and I Am heading to West Papua Indonesia to Meet the korowai tribe however my camera Guy that just got denied at immigration So I'm going in alone and I'm kind of Petrified [Music] As soon as I touched down in jayapura The largest city in West Papua I had a Massive logistical nightmare [Music] How are you Okay this is Otis a friend of a friend Of a friend who is from jayapura he Immediately breaks the bad news that we Failed to get a licensed tour guide to Take us to the tribe because it's too
Dangerous He says no do we have another guy here [Music] For another guy yeah I'm having weird Feelings right now about this trip I Don't know if it's the best idea Usually it's called trust your gut Right now my gut tells me don't go oh Yeah yeah in order to get to the tribe We must take a domestic flight and you Cannot book the tickets online only at An airline office just like it's 1985. Do you have a flight on the 3rd November 3rd [Music] November 3rd to see if they have Available if they have tickets yeah We're at a ticket agency booking manual Tickets so when's the last time you Actually went to an office and got Handed a piece of paper with the ticket The funny thing is that we don't even Know that we have a guide yet but we'll Book the tickets Right yeah right be ready for the guys We don't want the tickets to sell out Because it's a small plan so The price for the one-way domestic Flight is 2.35 million Indonesian rupiah Then it was disaster after disaster the First issue was that I could not get any Cash and cash is very needed in this Society okay my card is stuck in the ATM It's been a minute I hope my dress start
Freaking out What happened bro okay different ATM Yeah taking out money is not so easy After calling my bank and trying six Different ATMs I finally got it then I Found out that I still need to get a Special permit from the police station To be able to fly down south to visit The tribe so we went to the police Station Otis do you think we will get the permit Yeah You think so yeah We successfully got the permit thanks to Otis he took me to the police Headquarters and we waited and we got it We don't have a guide yet don't be Worried about God I can find it I hope so man we got a voice note from a Potential guide just now [Music] We gotta guide Martin he's supposed to Be meeting here in my hotel to talk About the trip tomorrow in 10 hours from Now But he's not answering his phone and He's an hour late so we don't know if he Just ditched us did you call him The answer He'll not pick up the point why he not Pick up the phone I don't know exactly I Already contacted another guy but he Sent me a message he said this is a Short time I feel lost and hopeless
Right now [Music] Oh my God You made it bro dude you're here Man are you okay Martin finally showed Up at my hotel and we hashed out all the Details for the itinerary the price and What to expect we finished our meeting At 2 A.M and our flight into the jungle Was at 7 00 am the next morning if you Want to hear more stories about this Logistical nightmare then see the video I just posted on my second Channel There's a massive storm happening Outside Storming out here I really hope this Rain doesn't continue tomorrow otherwise I'm [Music] This is the Calm before the storm see You guys when I wake up All right Good morning Do this hey bro Are you ready Checking in for our flight and the Anxiety settling in Oh just can't find his ticket Oh it is Otis you're killing me man We jumped on a small propeller plane That was so hot inside you could see the Sweat dripping off Martin's face no Words were exchanged on the flight and I
Was so nervous there I was sitting on a Plane with three strangers and had no Idea where I was going We hitchhiked a ride on the back of a Truck and headed 45 minutes away to the Very end of the dirt road we have just Arrived and now we walk through the Forest I don't know how we're gonna Carry all this stuff with us These guys asked us what we're doing and They offered to help take our bags in Because they know where the tribe is we Have food for them and everything okay We walk dude we are really about to walk Straight through the forest look at this Oh my God why do they have tall tree Houses Yes Because it's like day for them safe he Said if then make the hot tree I'm just Like no Um low or Indiana they feel it's like Easy to kill each other and then they Can kill you how do they kill humans if I eat really what he is I hope they don't kill me bro Can you kill me no we tracked more than One hour through Beach infested Rain-soaked jungles to reach the Mysterious tribe thank you I'm tired Carlos is a man I didn't know I was Going to beat him but he speaks English And he knows what's going on The new guide
All right which way [Applause] [Music] Really what does that mean it's I mean Okay we are coming let's say giving a Symbol of the I believe this guy in Front of us he's leading us the way and The way that we're speaking to them is Just screaming to the Jungle Foreign They're talking back That moment of first Contact is Something I'll never forget Whoa oh man [Music] Hello [Music] So when you meet a like this guy you Will say yeah I came a long way to visit you from All the way from the other side of the World Welcome yeah Everything that I hear about like when I Google the tribes here they talk about Life 30 40 years ago you know and they Were eating people so can I ask him About that [Music] Is never eat people but people eat kill And eat is for white rice I quickly came To find out that this is actually the Mamuna tribe not the korowai tribe I was Misled here by Martin but I decided to
Stay because both tribes live in the Same rainforest and they have very Similar cultures and Lifestyles the Mamuna and the korowai are sister tribes But it's the korowise who are the Cannibals of the two nonetheless I am Here to learn all about their Fascinating ways of life there are Roughly 3 000 members of the tribe and They live deep in the papuan rainforest Modernization is slowly creeping in Which explains their cigarette Addictions but they still maintain Traditions that date back over 10 000 Years The first time this tri-blade eyes on a Foreign human it was just 35 years ago Traditionally the mamuna live in tall Stilted tree houses scattered throughout The jungle to protect themselves from Floods and animals also to disrupt other Clans from capturing its members for Cannibalistic needs right away upon First interaction I am thrown into a Scene of the mamuna preparing Sago a Starch that is extracted from tropical Palm trees only found here in the papuan Jungle it is their primary source of Nutrition I really want to know like what does Human taste like But it's like like a meal it tastes like A male Pig maybe that's crazy yeah That's crazy when you were younger were
You scared of visiting other tribes and They would kill you foreign When you were younger were you scared of Other people eating you He ever see the uh Some people are coming to Kill but yeah he's scared when he see He's just scared about about them all Right let's talk about cannibalism to Most people cannibalism is one of the Most terrifying Concepts imaginable but For some tribe members of Papua Island Human flesh is a dish Central to their Culture and it has been for thousands of Years while the mamunas aren't the ones Eating humans their neighbors are and Carlos told me some really fascinating Things about the korawai tribe Something like I I took the one woman From another Village take Runway the Another guy and that was all one of the Women they will come and kill me and Then eat it's punishment yes punishment I learned that the korowai don't eat Humans for enjoyment or nutritional Value it's simply a form of punishment Steal something get burned over a fire And eaten more specifically the corowa Believes that mysterious deaths like Diseases are attributed to the kakua or Evil demons who take on the human form Kakawas are said to disguise themselves As friend friends or family members in An attempt to gain the trust of the
Tribe so they can later kill them it is Core wide tradition to perform Cannibalistic rituals on anyone believed To be a kakua so they can protect the Rest of its members it is part of the Revenge-based justice system it's Actually pretty surprising how welcoming They are I mean they probably never get Visitors or very rarely And they've been pretty uh pretty Welcome so far [Music] So many different cells Foreign [Music] This water is like three feet deep if I Fall right now And at least they built the handrail When they walk back they sing Through the forest S [Music] That was amazing Trying to get these young kids just with An ax cutting down This Tall Tree it's Got to be 80 feet tall this tree I guess when all the kids run away I Should know the runaway too dude this Tree is huge it's half Fallen already Putting the final touches on it You need help me all right I'm gonna Help him finish it off How was that Holy [ __ ] man you grew up in the jungle
You get strong pretty quickly handling That ax at a young age It's crazy how much they get from trees The food the shelter Beds Everything comes from the tree So this is campsite where they all hang Out they've invited us to stay here [Music] Travel tip always bring a head Flashlight with you or a headlamp Situations like this you never know when It's going to come in handy there's no Electricity here so you can see Everything in front of me We had brought with us a lot of food for The tribe and offered to cook stir fry And rice for everyone at night [Music] Home cooked food rice vegetables chicken Onions this is crazy my stomach is so Hungry right now Um Whoa It's like bread bro It's actually really good [Music] Time [Music] Foreign Basically just have a black matte thin Mat that we're laying down Before I sleep I'm putting my sock over My pants so the bugs will not get inside
From my Bear's chin Good night bro Is a bag of rice Morning bro I definitely got bit by so many bugs oh I smell bad why are you sleeping there [Music] Oh They're cold Where's the toilet it's up to you I Really don't understand how I can have So many mosquito bites And spider bites if I was covering my Body from head to toe I'm telling you These bites on my body look at that Let's just hope it's not malaria Special moment they've invited me in Their house Taco for breakfast [Music] Okay thank you It's kind of like bread with this really Chewy texture that is so interesting It tastes good it tastes kind of like Starch but the texture is like I've never had anything like this in my Life [Music] It's amazing how everything from the Forest is used here wood bamboo fruit S Absolutely incredible We're chilling here for breakfast and This guy just rolls up with a bow and
Arrow the mamuna started getting ready To embark on their morning hunt and I Accepted their invitation to join them Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah Yeah Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah Yeah yeah Oh my God I'm scared dude They have a really cool way of calling People in the jungle when they get lost [Applause] Like that [Applause] [Music] This is really cool so they're all Hunting around me they're hunting for Worms vegetables Mushrooms I'm gonna ask him about his What he's wearing so this is the tail to Be strong according to size he has to Make lunch with the pen Foreign [Applause] [Music] I Get scared because they're all holding Bow and arrows They're just so wild It's crazy how you can just put your Full trust in people Without even knowing them [Music] Up what's up
Hello hello [Music] [Applause] Cute nice Dude Pretty incredible how fast he jumped in There caught the fish it's a serious Skill Oh wow Dude that is awesome Shrimp [Music] Oh She just ripped the head off In a matter of 15 minutes they've got Two massive shrimp and two fish and here Comes another one [Applause] Foreign [Applause] [Applause] Festival and then fish hunting the fish And they will mix up this vegetable mix Up with the sagu and a fish inside [Music] Welcome [Music] [Music] Gaga We have a guy with a bow and arrow [Music] Gotta be careful with that bow and arrow I have him on watch at all times like Even if he starts pointing that I run
Away I don't think he's gonna shoot me But it's just it's in the back of my Mind these women are warriors just Breaking down branches with their bare Feet Clearing the path He literally just cut down this tree and Made a walkway over the Deep swamp my Fault I got two cameras in my hands For a self-reliant tribe not so far Removed from cannibalism what's the Takeaway mine is simple the mamunas are Just like me and you they love they hate They laugh and they cry while one man May rise above the others as a leader Another May reserve a more spiritual Role in society to call this tribe Uncivilized is downright incorrect they Foster relationships and value family in A way that is lost to our smartphones so Who's to say who is civilized or not the Mamuna tribe hasn't had the advantage of Cross-cultural pollination seen in Western societies and therefore they Haven't benefited from the economical Advantages the best thing we can do as Travelers is to respect their traditions And learn from them by applying their Values to our daily lives the human Brain is the human brain cannibals or Not cannibals Corey or mamuna I am just Extremely grateful to break Saga with These people and touch each other's Minds as equal cut from the same clay
Thanks for watching and hit up my second Channel if you want to see all the Behind the scenes to how this video was Made and I'll see you guys next time [Music] Thank you [Music]