Extraordinary photos have emerged showing a tribe chief holding the perfectly mummified remains of one of his ancestors in a remote Indonesian village.
Dani tribe chief Eli Mabel is pictured holding the remains of Agat Mamete Mabel in the village of Wogi in Wamena in West Papua, an island in the centre of Papua New Guinea.
The indigenous tribe, who live in a remote area of the Papuan central highlands, used to preserve their ancestors by smoking their bodies, which kept them in a near-perfect state for hundreds of years.
The smoking mummification is no longer practiced, but the Dani tribes people still preserve a number of mummies as a symbol of their highest respect for their ancestors.
In recent years the Dani tribe has attracted tourists from around the world, with some villages even showing their original customs and holding mock wars.
Every August the Dani hold mock battles with neighbouring tribes – the Lani and Yali peoples – to celebrate the fertility and welfare of the Papua province as well as upholding ancient traditions.
The people of Baliem Valley, the Dani, Lani and Yali tribes, were discovered accidentally by American zoologist and philanthropist Richard Archbold, while on a zoological expedition to New Guinea in 1938.
In the Dani tribe, the men wear distinctive tribal attire, including face paint, feathers, animal bones and intricate penis sheaths named Koteka.
The women wear skirts made from woven orchid fibres decorated with straw and woven bags, worn from the head, named ‘noken’.