For many years, I had my eyes on a remote part of Indonesia called West Papua where tribes still live today traditionally, isolated from the modern world we know. They inhabit mountains above 1500m, reachable only by chartered plane or after several days walking through difficult terrain. Few people have travelled there, but the few photographs I saw and stories I read on these highlands tribes always inspired me greatly.
My decision to travel there was actually made when I saw the documentary ”The Salt of the Earth” from German filmmaker Win Wenders. It portrays the career and works of photographer Sebastião Salgado with a few sequences shot when he travelled to West Papua to photograph the Yali tribes in 2010. His images fascinated me and I needed to witness it myself.
So in November 2016, I flew from Singapore to Wamena, in the heart of the Baliem Valley in West Papua. From there, I started my journey to visit and photograph the Yali tribes.
This essay is a portrait of the Yali life in the village of Angurruk through their people and their traditions. It is also shows life on the mountain paths from Angurruk to Kurima, the trails Yali people walk for several days to connect with the rest of the world.