Travel Photographer of the Year

11 December 2012, Blog

I have been Highly Commended in the People Watching category of Travel Photographer of the Year 2012.

I took the awarded images during a visit to the Kombai in Western Papua, Indonesia. It was one the early trips of the Rites of Life project and my most memorable travel experience ever.

I had visited the Dani of the highlands, where I had photographed a ceremony celebrating a girl who had her first menstruation. Afterwards, I traveled down to the Kombai, who live in the middle of the rainforest that covers the lowlands between the south coast and the central mountain chains. It was like traveling to a land of fairytales, far removed from the rest of the world. The Kombai live in houses high up in the trees and they still use age-old techniques, such as stone axes and bows and arrows.

Below is my collection of four images. Together with the other awarded images they will be exhibited at the Royal Geographical Society in London from 12 July to 18 August, 2013.

A group of Kombai on a foraging trip through the jungle.

A hunter holds up a lizard, still pierced by the arrow that shot it down from the tree where it was hiding.

Fishing with the help of poison. The poison comes from a special type of bark, which is first crushed before being placed in the water (it is seen to the right).

Insamling av sagolarver

Sago grubs are a delicacy. Here they are harvested, that is picked from a fermented sago tree that about two months earlier was cut down, split and wrapped in leaves to help the fermenting process.

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