Benedict Allen travelled through Papua New Guinea in search of a tribe that would let him participate in an initiation ceremony into manhood. He was finally admitted to the ceremonies of the Sepik tribe, whose totemic god is the crocodile. With fifteen other young males, Allen was secluded from the village in a large nest-like enclosure. Crocodile marks were carved onto their bodies with sharpened bamboo. Grey mud was applied to stop the blood-flow from their wounds, and they were beaten every day for six weeks. This book is the story of Allen's initiation experiences - a tale of love, community through shared pain and of sudden death.
Benedict Allen is one of the UK's most prominent explorers. For the past twenty-five years he has conducted solo expeditions through the Amazon jungle, along Namibia's Skeleton Coast and across Mongolia's Gobi Desert without the use of GPS, satellite phone or other means of outside support, as we as having written ten books of his adventures and editing The Faber Book of Exploration. He was the first explorer to bring the full experience of remote travel to television - taking the genre to its limits by not using a camera crew and so bringing an immediacy to his experiences. Allen regularly gives lectures at the Royal Geographic Society.