[kl-bogel] The tribe of savages first meets the white man. New Guinea 1976. Very touching video that 500 000 people watched on YouTube.




The Toulambi

Papua New Guinea

*Displayed in First World Exhibition*

Put your mouse on the thumbnail to see a larger photo; the artifacts do not enlarge.


For centuries the hill tribes of the Owen Ranmge in Papua, New Guinea have lived in isolation to avoid war. In a landscape of dense tropical rainforests each tribe stays within a well established territory. This explains why some of them have survived into the new millennium without any contact with the outside world.

Others previously known have left their villages to move deeper in the forest to escape conflicts or the religious zeal of evangelical preachers only to be rediscovered and labeled as lost tribes. European explorers first encountered the Toulambi in 1993.

Toulambi Hammer

Toulambi Hammer

They were almost entirely decimated by malaria. Modern medicine helped to stop the ravages of the disease. They didn't believe white men existed but if they did, they must be the 'living dead.'

Taking a lot of care with their appearance, the Toulambi men wear a bird from the Cassowary bird through the nose, large necklaces of river shells and bird of paradise feathers in their hair. They must look their best to attract a mate and reproduce. They are hunters and gatherers. The entire tribe moves in uncanny silence for fear of alerting the game. They know the migration trails of animals and the best time of year to find fish, the growing cycles of the palms, bamboo, wild fruits and the roots they rely on. Always on the move. The rhythm of their lives is that of the jungle. It gives them no time to create complex art, to develop science or conceive profound metaphysical philosophies.

Toulambi Pipe

Toulambi Pipe

The Toulambi consume wild tobacco heavily. The first transatlantic tribes found by Europeans said the white man gave them alcohol but they got their revenge by giving him tobacco.

The Toulambi are among the very last witnesses of our distant past. When the last tribe is contacted and moved from the Stone Age into the modern world, from being free and masters of their own destiny to being poor and at the lowest level of our western society, it is a part of ourselves that will vanish forever.

Toulambi Trident

Toulambi Trident


JP Dutilleux films, photographs, books and some artefacts of his collection are available for purchase.
Please contact jpdutilleux@gmail.com for more information.

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  1. Sorry EMailMalaisia but this charming video is fake. Anthropologist Pierre Lemonnier denounced this documentary as fraud in an article he gave to the French Newspaper "Liberation", studied the Papuans for over a decade and says that the "unknown tribe" lives less then four days away by foot from an administrative center with, a landing strip, a radio and nurses. They also use the Vailala River to travel to the coast to sell handmade goods.

    The white man you see in the video is filmmaker Jean-Pierre Dutilleux. The natives are members of the Toulambi tribe. This fake "first encounter" between the natives and a white skinned visitor was filmed around 1993. Before then, these excellent "actors" had already met with at least three ethnologists: Pierre Lemonnier in 1985, Jadran Mimica in 1979 and Pascale Bonnemère in 1987.

    More info at


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