The Asaro Mudmen come from just outside the village of Goroka in the Eastern Highlands Province of Papua New Guinea.
A legend there tells that these mudmen were defeated by an enemy tribe and had no other choice than to flee into the Asaro River where they waited until dusk before attempting an escape. The enemy saw them rise up from the muddy banks, covered with mud and thought that they were spirits. The majority of tribes are fearful of "spirits", including the enemy tribe whom in turn fled, giving the mudmen their easy conquer.
Heading back into the village and still caked in mud, the Asaro mudmen did not foresee that the enemy tribesmen were still there.
The enemy was so terrified when they saw the mudmen, they ran back to their village and held a special ceremony to ward off the spirits.
To thank and honor the spirits, instead of covering their faces with the poisonous mud for their ceremonies, the Asaro Mudmen make masks from pebbles that they heat with water from the waterfall, in unusual designs such as long or very short ears either going down to the chin or sticking up at the top, long joined eyebrows attached to the top of the ears, horns and sideways mouths.
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