William Young was the eldest of four, born May 11th,
1955, in Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada, but the majority of my first decade
was lived with my missionary parents in the highlands of Netherlands New Guinea
(West Papua), among the Dani, a technologically stone age tribal people.
These became my family and as the first white child and outsider who ever spoke
their language, I was granted unusual access into their culture and
community. Although at times a fierce warring people, steeped in the
worship of spirits and even occasionally practicing ritualistic cannibalism,
they also provided a deep sense of identity that remains an indelible element
of my character and person. By the time I was flown away to boarding
school at age 6, I was in most respects a white Dani.