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War child, Baliem Valley, Western New Guinea

Story behind the picture

“A day before the Baliem Valley Festival, held every August in Wamena town, I sat in front of the fire with the chief of the local Hubula tribe. He spoke passionately about his culture and told of his wish for visitors to become more involved in the festival. As a sign of respect, I promised him I’d join in. The next day, I stood in the middle of the battle, surrounded by Hubula warriors, their bodies painted for war. Like them, I wore only the traditional koteka, or penis sheath. My run in the festival field as a Hubula warrior made the crowd roar and it’s here that I got my picture. Amused by the sight of the first white man to ever enter the battlefield, many locals came up to me and asked to shake to my hand. It made me feel very proud.” We’d love to include your best new travel photos (at 300dpi) and the inspiring stories behind them. Send them with a pic of yourself to postcards@lptraveller.co.uk