I visited Reuben’s homestead (the same guy from my last post) across the river from us. He lives in a small cluster of houses with his uncle, brother and nephew–plus their wives and kids. Like every plot of land around here, they have a nice view.

While I was visiting I got a brief biography in which Reuben told me the different places he has lived and important dates from his life. Among these was dates was 1972 when Reuben’s grandfather was killed by another clan when his arm was chopped off. Then Rueben’s family cooked him and ate him.

Sometimes forty-two years seems like a long time. Not in this instance.

  1. Not the main point of this post, but a thought that occurred to me…

    We see lots of pictures of “great views” like this. But do the locals consider it all great views, or is it just all ordinary for them?

    • Joseph

      Good question, Joey. They plant flowers around their houses to make them look nice (though I don’t know if they did this before outside contact) and they dress up (as you have seen) for special occasions. But I’ve never heard anyone talk about a nice view. I’ll continue to investigate.

      • No worries. Not a high priority. Just a thought.

  2. karen swoap

    I have a sick feeling now…. not sure what to do with this post. The reality of the drastic differences between here and there just hit me.

  3. Shandi Stevenson

    While in Tennessee for Christmas with extended family, I was given an old children’s geography book from the first decade of the nineteen hundreds that had been in my grandma’s family. It has chapters for all the countries, lots on Europe, etc. Near the section on Australia there is the single line, “Of New Guinea little is known.” It made me think, as this post does, about how few decades in the past the complete isolation of New Guinea still is. It made me even more excited about the doors open there today for the Gospel.

  4. Mom O

    Well, this is all rather sobering. This increases the importance of the availability of BEEF! Can you raise a herd in case the neighbors get hungry?? Please.

    • Joseph

      I don’t think we are in any danger of being eaten.

  5. Kaley

    Care to share a recipe?

    Seriously. Is this a burial ritual, an “honoring” of their dead? I would not expect this to be “cannibalism” in the traditional sense of devouring your enemies. Tell us more.

    • Joseph

      We’ll let you know more as we discover it. They definitely used to eat their enemies.

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