The HLA profile of three New Guinean populations, two Highland (Asaro, Watut), and one Coastal is presented. The Highland populations are characterized by a low average number of alleles segregating at the HLA loci and also by a low mean value of heterozygosity at these loci. The genetic affinities of the two Highland groups with other Melanesian populations in the Pacific are remote. The Coastal group, on the other hand, shows strong similarities in its antigenic diversity and haplotypic combinations with other Melanesian populations. Nonetheless, the two Highland groups show significant divergence from each other in terms of allelic and haplotypic frequencies. Two different waves of migration settled in the Highlands of New Guinea between 10,000 and 15,000 years ago, and it is possible that the Watut, an Angan speaking group, represents the remnants of the first migration into the interior, whereas the Asaro, members of the Eastern Central family of the Trans-New Guinea phylum, arrived at a later date.