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Enemies of Mud Men, be very afraid

Asaro Mud Men from the Asaro Valley in Papua New Guinea performing, for the first time outside their home, their rituals for visitors at the Australian Museum in Sydney yesterday. The rituals are traditionally intended to intimidate their enemies in the eastern highlands of Papua New Guinea. The Mud Men slather white clay over their bodies, elongate their fingers with bamboo and use large masks to cover their heads so that they look like ghosts to scare their enemies. Four Asaro Mud Men will be in residence for a week at the museum and create new masks, known as Holosa, for the museum's collection.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 30, 2016, with the headline 'Enemies of Mud Men, be very afraid'. Print Edition | Subscribe