|Regions with significant populations|
|Papua New Guinea||2,000|
The Hewa are an indigenous people that live in the Southern Highlands Province of Papua New Guinea near the junction of the Strickland and Lagaip rivers. They number about 2,000 persons, and their rugged rainforest terrain comprises about 200 square miles (518 km2), some of which was unexplored until 2008. Their language belongs to the Sepik family.
They hunt birds, reptiles and mammals for food, adornment and trade with neighboring tribes. Having learned that fruit- and nectar-eating birds, such as fruit-doves and lorikeets, are vital to forest regeneration, the Hewa slash small gardens out of the dense jungle and allow about 20 – 25 years for the tilled yet unseeded land to be reforested naturally. Their language is not related to any outside the general area and their culture is unlike that of the other Southern Highlands tribes. They have some limited trade with those neighboring tribes, exchanging the Hewa's animal skins, spears and nose rings for shells and boars.
They are one of the few tribes in the fringe highland area never to have practised cannibalism, perhaps because their belief associates cannibalism with dangerous sorcerers. They have been extensively studied by anthropologists Lyle Steadman and William H. Thomas. The Hewa were also featured on the final episode of the Discovery Channel program Survivorman.
- Heckler (2009-05-30). Landscape, Process and Power. p. 144. ISBN 978-1-84545-549-1.
- Landscape, Process and Power by Heckler et al, page 144
- Guardian article about new species in New Guinea
- Back to the Future by Thomas, page 87
- P. Vollrath, Hewa Phonemes: A Tentative Statement
- Highland Peoples of New Guinea by Paula Brown, page 13
- Papuan Borderlands by Aletta Biersack, page 8
- Death and the Regeneration of Life by M. Bloch page 131 note 8
- Humors and Substances by P.J. Stewart, page 71
- His PhD thesis "Neighbours and Killers: residence and dominance among the Hewa of New Guinea" was cited in Stages of Thought by M.H. Barnes
- Landscape, Process and Power, by Heckler et al, page 140ff