The Increasingly Fading Tradition of Hunting for Papua

goodmorningpapua.com – The Bauzi tribe on the banks of the Mamberamo River, Mamberamo Raya Regency, Papua, are not only skilful in catching crocodiles in the river, but also have a tradition of hunting in the forest.

The equipment of hunting consists of a bow and arrow. The bow material is taken from the nibung tree and bamboo. Then the nibung and bamboo are cut and split into pieces according to the desired size.

At the end of the bow is made rather small and tapered when compared to the center. Both ends are given rope knots made of rattan.

To stretch the bow, a rattan rope is prepared which has been cleaved and cleaned. Furthermore, the rattan cleavage is attached to both ends of the arc.

The arrow consists of a stalk and an eye. To make arrows, they are taken from a kind of old forest sugarcane. This forest sugarcane is cut and then heated over a fire so that it is easy to straighten and can last a long time. Then this stalk is cut to the desired size.

The arrowhead is taken from the part of the nibung or part of the bamboo. The parts of the nibung and bamboo are cut and then formed into jagged tapers. The arrowheads are inserted into the stalk and tied with rattan rope.

The phalanx of the arrowheads and stalks are given adhesive from breadfruit sap so that the rattan rope twists at the base of the stalk become stronger. Bamboo arrowheads are used to shoot large animals such as deer, pigs and cassowaries.

Meanwhile, arrows made from nibung are used to shoot at birds, bats, cuscus and tree kangaroos. Besides, there are also types of arrows whose ends are made of hard and blunt bamboo joints. This is so that when shooting at an animal, it hurts the animal enough, so that it is easy to catch for maintenance.

The animals are hunted, the meat is consumed while the bones are used as tools in everyday life. For example, the cuscus bone is made tapered at the end, used as a needle in knitting noken. Cassowary bones are used as a weapon for stabbing in hunting.

In addition, they also still recognize the use of traditional matches. These matches use round stones that are widely found in the Mamberamo River. They call it flint.

The way to make a fire is to hit a flint with a bamboo near the dry feathers of a black palm tree, so that putting the stone burns the feathers and with just a few puffs the fire can start.

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