This paper is an analysis of organised armed conflict, as occurs among the Huli speaking population of Papua New Guinea's Hela Province. I argue that Huli warfare is viewed from a Huli perspective in historical terms, and that Huli wars are fundamentally fought over the control and authority over the historical narrative, and therefore the control and authority over resources into the future. Most importantly warfare is understood as an undesirable and avoidable failure of dispute resolution mechanisms. I also argue against the common view that pre-colonial warfare was conducted according to rules that prevented the more egregious acts that occur today, especially when it comes to the killing of women. Warfare needs to be understood in terms of trauma, and the consequences of its lived experience. Finally, the link between warfare and the presence of extractive industry is in the historical agency of that industry, and persistent and erroneous views about tribal warfare serve to deny that link.