Enga is the highest and most rugged of all PNG’s provinces, and even other Highlanders refer to Engans as ‘mountain people’. The provincial capital of Wabag is more of an outlying town to Mt Hagen than a major centre. The two other main centres are Wapenamanda and Laiagam.
Enga is unique in that it has only one major linguistic and ethnic group, and the shared ethnicity of the Enga speakers overshadows the province’s minority tribes such as the Ipili speakers (around Porgera) and Nete speakers.
Porgera, the giant and controversial gold and copper mine in the far west, has brought about rapid change for some, but most people still grow cash crops – coffee, pyrethrum and cool-weather European vegetables – in their steep mountain gardens.