Very little has been written about this area before, so having been impressed with both the people and the place I figured it was about time for a presentation. The people here are also quite representative for their country, living as they are in close contact with both the sea and the forests, and they are even ethnically a mix between the Melanesian and the Papuan groups. Traditional life is still dominating, but certainly not without influence and knowledge about the world around.
As with many other developing nations, much of the news that reaches the outside world about Papua New Guinea is of the negative kind, and the many misconceptions I have met with abroad has also triggered my inspiration to fill in some of the missing pieces.
During my first stays at Tufi I had learned that the area has a very dramatic and interesting history and a great wealth of natural treasures. Then there was the warmth and hospitality that I was met with, and all this made it natural to go back and experience more of what ‘beautiful Tufi’ has to offer.
The idea for the book developed slowly after my second visit to the area in 2006, and two years later I had started making serious preparations. In 2009 I again widened my range and made many important contacts – I learned that the villagers were positive to my coming back for a more substantial project.
Between August 2010 and March 2011 I spent more than six months around Tufi, and also ventured a bit further down the coast to Collingwood Bay for a few weeks. After many hours of story-telling in shelters all along this fascinating coastline; after long canoe rides and hikes through the forests; and after an endless number of wonderful experiences, I believe I have the material to give you an idea of what life at Tufi is like.