10 Tropical Traditions for Temperate Climates


Living Off What Nature Provides

There are still cultures in tropical climates where indigenous people live solely off what nature provides. They build their own homes, hunt, forage and cook their own foods, though many of the groups are threatened by modern issues, such as tourism and development of their land.

As a country, Papua New Guinea has the largest groups of indigenous people living within the countryside, speaking more than 250 languages [source: Lonely Planet]. The Dani people of western New Guinea are probably the most well-known group, as tourists have reached their habitats and have been allowed to photograph and interview them. The Dani wear little clothing and use rudimentary tools for hunting and cooking, even to this day [source: Papua Trekking]. They use sweet potatoes and pigs not only as food but also as bartering items and for dowries in marriage. Other indigenous groups in this region include the Lani people, the Korowai and Kombai Tree People and the Asmat tribe, who were known cannibals (but have since changed their ways) [source: Papua Trekking].

How well can you live off your land? We know you're not expected to buy a plot of grass and build a home from scratch. However, many people are pledging to adhere to what's known as the "100-mile diet," to eat only fresh foods from within a 100-mile radius of your home. This would reduce the amount of energy and pollution created sending food from one area of the world to another, as well as support local farmers who need to sell their crops for survival [source: Time].