Aseki Smoked Corpses of Pepua New Guinea


Deep red corpses known as Aseki smoked corpses, hanging from the cliffs in Manyama region is the specialty of Pepua New Guinea. Sounds quite scary. Yes, its an ancient tradition of Anga tribe to hang these grotesque bodies over a cliff as a sign of safety and protection from the outer world and other all sorts of dangers. These mummified bodies are here to overlook the entire village. They are supposed to be the watchers of the village.

This Inga tribe was also quite famous for its cannibalism. Going in the depth of these areas, you will find a mummy of a female with an infant clinging to her. Now that is not a warrior indeed. So there you would also find preyed bodies of the locals that were unfortunate victims of cannibalism.

It is said that this act of smoke mummification was left in 1949 after the takeover of missionaries on that area. Their method of mummification is not the famous salt method. First the body parts of the deceased person like tongue, flesh from hand palms and under the feet was cut and given to the surviving spouse of the person. Then they used to smoke the bodies for a long time and after the whole process, these smoked bodies were colored in red clay.

It is said that these Aseki smoked corpses were warriors and fighters once. And after their death, the bodies of these protectors  and warriors are given another task to watch over all the village. Only the son of a warrior can be the warrior and no one else.

The Aseki smoked corpses are always hanging on the cliff except on some special occasion of celebration in the village. Yes! if there is some tribal event or gathering, these smoked bodies are removed and taken to that special place to take part in celebration.

So if next time you plan a travel to the Menyama region, Inga tribe, keep in mind, these mummies are looking down at you.