“It is an interesting question how far men would retain their relative rank if they were divested of their clothes.”
— Thoreau, Walden 1854
What is it about modern culture that makes authorities feel the need to impose a foreign language, way of life and religion on a people that live in communion, unashamedly nude deep in an impenetrable forest? In a culture where no one bothers to keep track of their age, the well intended, but genocidal policies of outsiders have been ravaging western New Guinea’s highland tribes, as they slowly succumb to alien modernization.
One force driving this aboriginal extermination is the frontiersman psychology. Sledding to the Poles, summiting Everest, rowing across the Atlantic Ocean, it’s all been done. We live in an age when uncharted earthbound exploration is virtually at an end, yet I partook in a particularly unique adventure; I taught naked Frisbee to natives who still dwell in the Stone Age. Someone had to do it. (More…)