In the footsteps of Rockefeller: US man captures footage of Papua tribe

May 10, 2018

A US biologist has captured rare footage of a tribe whose ancestors are thought to be cannibals in Papua New Guinea.Richard E. Bright captured the footage of the Asmat people, a former headhunting group in southwestern Papua, during his recent travels to the remote area last month.The video, filmed in Otsjanep village on April 7, shows the tribe taking part in the ancient Bisj poles ceremony.Bisj poles are a symbol for revenge, to pay homage to ancestors, to calm spirits of the deceased and to bring harmony to spiritual beings in the community.Video by the New Jersey-based Bright shows the arrival of “war canoes” carrying men and adolescent boys at the start of the Bisj poles ceremony.The poles include carvings made up in the image of deceased members of the tribe.It was in Otsjanep that Michael Rockefeller, son of former New York Governor and US Vice Presidential candidate Nelson Rockefeller, is believed to have disappeared and been headhunted and eaten by tribesmen while collecting carvings for the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1961.