What evil darkness lurks in the heart of men? Many troubled thoughts. Such as the thoughts I'm having now looking at this creepy mudman.
The masks the mudmen wear weigh up to 10kg (22lbs!), and are rather unwieldy to wear. Believe me, I tried! Bamboo spiked fingers though? Cool and scary at the same time.
There's a few variations on the legend behind the mask. Papua New Guinea can be an extremely territorial place, with tribes fighting their neighbors over land all the time. Supposedly the Asaro were outnumbered by their neighboring enemies and being beaten back, forced to retreat to the Asaro river. Would they lose their Asaro valley to their enemies next?
They decided to cover themselves with mud from the river to look like spirits. The mud from the river is believed to be poisonous, so the Asaro weren't able to cover their faces with it. They ended up making masks from the pebbles that they heated to wear over their heads. Many tribes in PNG are afraid of spirits, so when attacked by the mudmen, their enemy fled and the Asaro claimed victory.