Tania Nugent writes about the Enga salt ponds, a fascinating place

tania
Tania at the salt ponds 

An awesome adventure to the Laigam Salt Ponds in Enga Province, where for hundreds and hundreds of years the people traded salt from here all across the Highlands and down to the coast in exchange for things like crude oil from Kutubu, sago and kina shells from Gulf and even modern iron axes, which arrived up here long before the white man came.

The stakes in the pond delineate the space that belongs to different clans, They have been there so long they have crystalised into stone.

The traditional method of extracting salt from this water is still practiced but it is quite a long and labour intensive process. So this man known as Mr Salt uses modern copper bowls over a fire to evaporate the water and leave the salt. He sells the salt for K4 a packet. We sampled it later when the local people made a mumu for us. It is the tastiest salt – all natural.

As we went to leave we saw these women washing freshly harvested carrots in the salt water. And they generously they shared them with us. The yummiest carrots ever!

Love exploring my country. Everyone should experience Enga!

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