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The ‘crocodile men’ of Papua New Guinea

According to the beliefs of the tribes that inhabit the Sepik River region of Papua New Guinea, their ancestors were crocodiles.

Spiritual houses represent a belief that worships spirits that manifest as animals.

According to legend, some came out of the water and into the land. Over time, they ended up becoming humans.

The men of the tribe perform an initiation rite in the spirit house to acquire the strength of the crocodiles. With a blade, they make cuts on the chest and back that will become bulky scars to look like the skin of the crocodile.

Years ago, they used bamboo to make the cuts. Today they use razor blades.

After the ceremony, they can spend several months inside the spiritual house learning skills for their new life as initiated men.

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