Why I Love: Memorabilia

Donal MacIntyre, journalist
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The Independent Online

I have a spear from the Insect Tribe of Papua New Guinea that I hold dear. I made a TV programme about the tribe, and first used the spear when I joined them on a crocodile hunt. Later some tribe members came to live with me for two weeks. It was tricky explaining to my wife, who was pregnant at the time, that I'd invited a tribe of so-called Stone Age folk over. But the spear is a lovely memory of the visit.

I keep it in pride of place in the living-room. Tragically, Chief Joseph, who gave it to me, has since died. Like most of the tribe, he contracted malaria at some stage of his life, and this can lead to heart problems; when he was out crocodile-hunting the adrenaline of the chase gave him a fatal heart attack. Drumming signals marking his death would have been heard all down the river; while we didn't hear them here, we felt them.

Donal MacIntyre's documentary A Very British Gangster is out now on DVD (£15.99)