Stori Tumbuna: Ancestors’ Tales (image 1)

I was to become enmeshed in events that resulted in bloodshed and death. What’s more, I was held responsible.

Paul Wolffram

Stori Tumbuna: Ancestors’ Tales 2011

Directed by Paul Wolffram

Research and traditional lore are neatly interlaced in this film by ethnomusicologist Paul Wolffram, who spent two years recording the culture of the Lak people in the remote southern region of New Ireland, New Guinea.

New Zealand In English, Siar and Tok Pisin with English subtitles
83 minutes DigiBeta

Director, Producer, Photography, Editor

Colour grade

Mat Fraser
Sauce Media

Sound design

Refried Audio


Paul Wolframm
Patrick Toarbusai
Kosmos Toalami
Bartholamul Toinniatwa
Brigata Apia
Nerus Toding
Toru Thadeus
Nerus Patrick
Leni Toarbusai

Both a fascinating look at the lives and culture of a remote and isolated people and a surprising jungle adventure, Stori Tumbuna brings the customs and mythologies of the Lak people of the New Guinea islands to vivid life. In 2001 ethnomusicologist and filmmaker Paul Wolffram visited the remote southern region of theisland ofNew Ireland to learn and record the music and dance traditions of the Lak. He spent over two years living and working there, adapting to village life, learning the language and rituals – and, as this film clearly testifies, becoming beguiled by the playful humour of the Lak men. However, the mysterious death of one of the village men led Wolffram to become entangled in village lore in ways he never intended. His Western curiosity got the better of him and he tried to find out more about the dreaded culprit, a monstrous wild man from the dense mountain jungles, known only as the ‘Song’. — MM