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MAKING BOYS INTO MEN: KANINGARA SKIN-CUTTING RITUAL | | LARS KRUTAK
A new group of initiates undergo two months of seclusion in the "Spirit House" before they receive the marks of the crocodile. PAPUA NEW GUINEA (PNG) is the second largest island in the world. Although it is roughly the size of California, it is one of the most rural countries on the planet and only eighteen percent of its six million inhabitants live in urban areas. Incredibly, over 800 indigenous languages are spoken in Papua: a statistic that accounts for 1/5 of the world's total. Just as Papua is linguistically diverse, it is also an ecological and geographical wonder. From snowcapped peaks reaching heights of 13,000 feet, to steamy rain-soaked jungles, volcanically active islands and coral reefs with "more fish than water," PNG is a virtual treasure trove of natural beauty waiting for the intrepid traveler. But for the adventure of a lifetime, one only needs to head inland and cruise the mighty Sepik River in a dugout canoe. Running some 700 miles, the Sepik is more than