Warriors of the Sea

2000 ,    »  -   10 Comments
Ratings: 8.18/10 from 40 users.

Papua is a group of over 1,400 islands, large and small, scattered between the equator and North Australia. Many of these islands are tiny uninhibited coral atolls, but the majority are volcanic formations. Geologically Papua is a transition zone between the islands of Indonesia and the small ones of Oceania.

In the caves of Papua remains have been found of the first human inhabitants of these islands. As a result of the last glaciation the water level went down and some Polynesian people were able to cross to these small islands, but then when the ice melted and the sea level rose again these communities were cut off.

Dating of the oldest human remains show that these islands were inhabited over 40,000 years ago. The different ethnic groups that live on the islands of Papua were greatly feared by the sailors who dared to navigate the waters of these "accursed" islands. Head hunters and cannibals, these fierce warriors of the sea remained isolated until well into the 20th century.

For a long time their territory remained unexplored by Europeans. Still today there are isolated areas where there are cases of cannibalism and ritual decapitations. Traditional customs and rituals remain strong among the inhabitants of these islands, though now it's unusual to find a village without a mission of one of the over 100 different churches which compete for converts among the Papuan natives.

But though they attend worship and prayers to these imported Gods, the Papuans continue to follow their traditional laws and age-old customs. For example, the teenagers of some of the tribes have to undergo a severe initiation before being able to sail alone. It is a test to their courage and capacity for suffering.

If they bear the pain without flinching a string of shells is placed around their necks symbolizing the passage to adulthood. They're now ready to face the dangers of the sea protected by the spirits of the forest. That's why during the initiation they cover their bodies with green sand.

More great documentaries

10 Comments / User Reviews

  1. bringmeredwine

    This was another wonderful Atlantis doc.
    Really interesting and a pleasure to watch.
    I love learning about these artistic and innovative societies.
    It's so maddening that encroaching Western technology and the Christian groups will inevitably faze out their self sufficient and unhurried way of life.

  2. megatron_mcdaniels
  3. megatron_mcdaniels

    They got swag.

  4. 1concept1
  5. 1concept1

    And to think we live on the same planet - enjoyed it thank you -

  6. 1concept1
  7. 1concept1

    "Maddening"? - It makes me want to go to war - Those jungle bumpkins are cohesive with the Deity - and now we're going to go in there and kcuf that all up -

    (As i sit here in my lounge chair sipping on my mytie) -

  8. bringmeredwine
  9. bringmeredwine

    You've done plenty already Grampa.
    Enjoy your mai tai!

  10. 1concept1
  11. 1concept1

    I see you spelt mytie a different way - I have never drank one - i think someone said once they were really potent? - funny -

    I am not a spelling Natzy (as you can see) - I wish TDF had spell check - I keep the dictionary open so i can flip back and forth -

    I don't hear the words correctly - I believe that's my problem - I challenge myself and keep spelling the word in different ways before i use spell check - and i get really excited when a hard one slips thru - (no pun intended) - I also create words - I like to do that - I mean who has the licenses to create new words?

    i like to write - the internet over the last five years has really helped me with that - in these comment sections - Its also exposed me to myself - which is a good thing for all of us - I wish this would have happened a long time ago - how much further along I would be -

    I don't really believe there are Canadians and US citizens - I mean are there Canadian and US pigeons -

  12. bringmeredwine
  13. bringmeredwine

    I'm having trouble with my cheap computer. It's only a year old!
    I think North America's borders will look very different one day. Europe's too.
    All this the fussing and fighting will have been for nothing. There'll be new lines to kill ourselves over!
    In regard to your dictionary use, (my kids stole my edition years ago), If I don't have a word in my spell check program, I type it into the search engine!

  14. 1concept1
  15. 1concept1

    Oh thanks for the tip about the search engine - I am assuming that's the bar above - I'll try that!

  16. Bartolomeu Lança
  17. Bartolomeu Lança

    "...remained isolated until well into the 20th century." - FAKE

    Portuguese sea navigators were there trading in the 1511, in fact, the name "Papua Nova Guiné" was given by those portuguese ocean explorers.

  18. Imightberiding
  19. Imightberiding

    I doubt very much that I would ever thrive in this culture, if for no other reason than I've never been much of a "song & dance" man.

Leave a comment / review: