Gemtasu being mummified
Gemtasu being mummified
Biographical Information
Name(s) Gemtasu
Sex Male
Status Tribe Elder
Culture Anga tribe in Papua New Guinea
Date(s) 2015
Site Anga tribe
Current Location
Location Papua New Guinea
Catalog #


Gemtasu was a tribe elder from the Anga tribe in Papua New Guinea. Gemtasu's tribe has been documented in the past 20 years because of its unique way of burying their dead. With a few exceptions, the Anga tribe mummify their dead. Mummification has been a long tradition in the Anga tribes heritage that elders like Gemtasu have been trying to keep alive. One of Gemtasu's last wishes was to be mummified like his ancestors before him.


The mummification technique in the Anga tribe is very unique. The bodies are smoked for 30 days after being scraped with a bristly plant. The bodily fluids are leached out of tiny holes that have been poked into the hands and feet and the gut contents are evacuated through a bamboo pipe. Finally the villagers slather the body with ocher which adds moisture to the body and protects the remains from the elements.

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