The Sepik River in Papua New Guinea
The Sepik River flows down from the central highlands of the main island in Papua New Guinea and into the sea off the North coast.
Over many centuries , small bands of natives isolated by the dense jungle and the distance between villages used the big river as a highway for their commerce. The isolation of tribes here was profound. I read that of about 1,500 languages around the world, almost 750 existed only in Papua New Guinea.
Members of the Rockefeller family were early travelers to these areas. They exported many native art works to museums around the world, and established Papua New Guinea’s main museum in Port Moresby.
In the 1970s, tourist services emerged. Visitors could fly in to a small airport, and a large vessel began offering cruises on a regular basis. Native villagers were encouraged to share their culture, putting works of native art out to sell to the early visitors. I had the great good fortune to be on one of those cruises in the 1970.
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