Papuan Ethnicity; Asmat, Dani and Korowai being Unique – Papua is a province in Indonesia located in West Papua New Guinea. Let’s know the 3 unique tribes.

Based on the Papua Provincial Government website, Papua is frequently referred to as the West Papua because it refers to the entire island of New Guinea, including the eastern hemisphere of a neighboring country, east New Guinea or Papua New Guinea. Indigenous ethnic groups in Papua itself consist of 255 tribes. Here are 3 indigenous Papuan tribes and their uniqueness.

1. The Asmat

Referring to Indonesiabaik, the Asmat are one of the largest tribes in Papua. The Asmat tribe is famous for its unique wood carvings and the distinctive Tobe dance.

The Asmat tribe is also famous for its traditional house, namely Jew or Bujang’s house. Usually, the Asmat tribe’s weapons are stored in it, namely spears, arrows and noken.

Jew’s house is made of wood, while the roof is made of sago lake or nipah leaves woven by the Asmat people. One more thing that is unique is that the Asmat traditional house usually faces the river.

In addition, the traditional clothing of the Asmat Tribe is tassels. According to the book ‘Knowing Indonesian Arts and Culture’ by R. Rizky and T. Wibisono, men wear headdresses, vests, tasseled pants and necklaces in the form of teeth, animal bones and shells.

2. The Dani

Dani is one of the popular tribes in Papua. This tribe inhabits the mountains and is the largest there.

The Dani tribe is known to inhabit the Baliem Valley which is located in the central mountains of Papua. The altitude of this valley is 1,659 masl.

The uniqueness of the Dani tribe lies in the citizens who still inhabit traditional houses called Honai. This house is inspired by a bird’s nest made of wood with a thatched roof.

In addition, unlike other regions, the Dani tribe has a unique bathing habit, where they usually like to bathe at daylight when the sun is high. As stated by a researcher from the Papua Archaeological Center, Hari Suroto, this habit is caused by the air temperature during the day which feels warm and not as cold as in the morning.

The Dani tribe is also renowned for its extreme tradition, namely Iki Palek or amputating fingers. This is a sign of affection and an expression of loss.

3. The Korowai

The Korowai people live in tree houses. They live in a tree house with for about 12-35 meters high from the ground.

This tree house was obviously very tall and dangerous because the wind could destroy it. However, this house keeps the family safe from the threat of hunters, wild animals and malaria mosquitoes.

However, on Hari Suroto’s report, the main reason is the Korowai tribe’s fear of being attacked by a cruel Laleo or demon. This creature is believed to walk like an undead monster roaming at night.

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