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A Kukukuku man from a 1931 expedition into Papua New Guinea

The Angu or Änga people, also called Kukukuku (pronounced "cookah-cookah") or Toulambi by neighbouring tribes, are a small and previously violent group speaking a number of related languages[1] and living mainly in the high, mountainous region of south-western Morobe, a province of Papua New Guinea. Even though they are a short people, often less than 5 foot, they were once feared for their violent raids on more peaceful villages living in lower valleys.[2]

Despite the high altitude and cold climate of their homeland, the Änga only wore limited clothing, including grass skirts, with a piece similar to a sporran, and cloaks made from beaten bark, called mals.[2]

An account of some of the first contact between the Angu and westerners is described vividly by J. K. McCarthy in his book Patrol into Yesterday: My New Guinea Years.

Four of the Änga languages are almost extinct, but the largest tribe, the Hamtai, are thriving, with a population of 45,000.[1]

Some Aseki district tribes have become a tourist attraction due to their mummies. There are three famous mummy sites around Aseki in the Hamtai territory. The Hamtai people now have a small income from charging scientists, tourists and photographers a fee before entrance to the mummy sites.[3]


  1. ^ a b Ethnologue: Languages of the World, Sixteenth Edition, M. Paul Lewis, editor; ISBN 978-1-55671-216-6
  2. ^ a b Lightbody, Mark; Wheeler, Tony (1985). Papua New Guinea: a travel survival guide (3 ed.). Lonely Planet. pp. 89–90. ISBN 978-0-908086-59-7.
  3. ^ Neubauer, Ian Lloyd. "The smoked corpses of Aseki".

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