Back in the day and even today, different nations had conflicts, entered into war and devised several means of defeating their opponents. In modern times, people gear towards the use of nuclear weapons and firepower. Many years ago, this was not available and tribes had to come up with other creative means to defeat their opponents. For the Asaro tribe, also called the Asaro Mudmen, they did so with the use of scary masks. It is not quite clear how the Asaro tribe, which is located in Papua New Guinea, first started using scary masks as there are two versions of this history. Some say this tradition started after the Asaro tribe lost a battle and were forced to flee into the Asaro River. This defeated tribe were forced to wait till dusk and during this period, they were all covered in mud. When they attempted to escape, the enemy saw them rise from the muddy banks covered in mud and thought they were spirits.

This created fear and the enemy tribe ran away in fear, back to their village and held a special ceremony to ward off the spirits. Another version of this history says the Asaro tribe started their scary mask tradition after a man attended a wedding in a weird way. The man who was said to be unable to afford a suitable wedding attire, bored two holes in a string bag, covered it with mud and also placed the mud on his skin and attended the wedding. He was said to have scared off the guests and this turned into a great plan to scare off enemies. The Asaro tribe was said to have adapted this new mode of dressing whenever they were attacked by an enemy tribe and over the years, they improvised by adding long fingers made with bamboo to have the overall ghostly effect.

While the Asaro tribe might no longer be fighting wars, they still use their scary masks and some people say they use it to scare off spirits. The masks always come with unusual designs but they all look quite scary. Some are made with long or very short ears, horns and sideways mouths.