Past ‘horrific’ history returns


I recently read with interest the shocking news account of a witch burning incident in Papua, New Guinea, a country familiar to me and where I lived as a young English girl in the 1920s.

My family owned and operated a copra plantation there and employed about 30 workers who were of the local Tolai tribe. Most of them were only a generation away from their headhunting ancestors, but (except for a few missionary converts) they still practiced witchcraft. At that time, the British government was endeavoring to eliminate cannibalism and headhunting among the various outlying tribal areas. Today, it is said that headhunting is now non-existant in those regions.

The recent horrific event in Papua, New Guinea is a sad reflection on a beautiful country and its present prosperity. The inhabitants seem to be returning to their old savage roots.