Growing a wig takes about 15 full moons


This tribe are called Huli wigmen because of their large hats, woven by their own hair. The Huli is the largest ethnic group in the Highlands.

Boys live with their mothers until they are seven or eight years old, thereafter they go to live with their fathers who teach them about the biological and ritual processes of becoming a man. During this time, they are forbidden from contact with any women, including their mothers.

When a huli boy is 14 to 15 years old he go to a wig school. To enter the school they have to pay 200 Kinas (€70) or a pig, and only virgin males are allowed to take part. On wig school they learn how to grow their hair quickly by special diet and treatment.
Growing a wig takes about 15 full moons. After this 18 months of growing hair, the wigmen cut their hair and hand it to the wig specialist. He will sews and weaves the hair into wigs.

Huli men are best known for their custom of wearing woven wigs, elaborate headdresses decorated with bundles of multicolored feathers. They wear bright facial paint in yellow, red and white. This colours are chosen to impress woman and strike fear into their enemies in times of conflicts.

Nowadays, Huli men more often wear their traditional dress to sing and dance – displaying their cultural pride peacefully, rather than through conflict.
Nice to know is that these men are actually trying to imitate the temptation dance of birds of paradise.

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