This man with wild boar tusks in his nose smokes tobacco rolled in a leaf. In the background is the only wood board house in the village. The Indonesian army built it for a teacher that they brought in from an outside village. The teacher and his family only survived a few months before being killed by locals. It is not wise to challenge the chief's authority. The chief viewed the large house and educational agenda as threats.

Eventually, the army will return and assassinate a few villagers. They will reinstall a teacher and his family in the hopes of acculturating the tribe with Indonesian language and customs. This process is continued until the village climate is acceptable for the arrival of an indigenous missionary. This is part of an insidious government plan for "transmigration", to control new territories, and exploit untouched resources.

Irian Jaya, Indonesia


Jean-Philippe Soule 1994