East Papua Jayawijawa Tribes

Papua tribes

Jayawijaya tribes

Jayawijaya tribes, Jayawijaya,

Abinom    300   Christian
Sarmi Regency, Mamberamo Hulu subdistrict, Lakes Plain area, Baso River mouth east of Dabra at Idenburg River, to headwaters in Foya Mountains. Alternate names: Avinomen, “Baso” , Foja, Foya. Dialects: Similar to Warembori [wsa].
Angguruk Yali 19.000  Christian
Central highlYali-01ands area northwest of Nalca, east of Grand Valley Dani. Alternate names: Angguruk, Northern Yali, Yalimo. Dialects: Related to Yali of Ninia [nlk], Yali of Pass Valley [yac].Yali-02
Awbowo  400  Animism
100% monolingual. Modera River, south of Kopkaka [opk] and northwest of Korowai [khe]. Alternate names: Kvolyab. Dialects: Not related to Ok, Asmat, Awyu-Dumut, Momuna [mqf], or highland languages like Dani or Mek. Lexical similarity: 55% with Bayono [byl].
Bayono  100  Islam
South of Awbono [awh] on Steenboom River. Dialects: Not related to language families like Ok, Asmat, Awyu-Bayono-01Dumut, Momuna, or highlands language families like Dani or Mek. Lexical similarity: 55% with Awbono.
Jayawijaya Regency, Kurima subdistrict, village of Burumakok, south of Sumtanon, east of Siradala, lowlands area south of main ranges, southeast of Sumo and Dekai, south of Langda and Bomela.
Damal  , Amungme  23.000  Christian
Paniai Regency, IlaDamal-01ga and Beoga subdistricts, central highlands west of Western Dani, east of Ekari, southeast of Kemandoga River source, throughout Puncak Jaya, north and south Carstens Mountains. Alternate names: Amung, Amung Kal, Amungme, Amuy, Enggipiloe, Hamung, Oehoendoeni, Uhunduni. Dialects: Damal, Amung, Amongme, Enggipilu. Related to Ekari [ekg], Moni [mnz], Wolani [wod]
Dera  1.400  Christian
Northeast Papua, south of Jayapura, near Waris. 13 villages. Also in Papua New Guinea. Alternate names: Dra, Kamberataro, Mangguar.
Mamberamo Hulu subdistrict, Lakes Plain area south of Idenburg River east of Taiyeve. Alternate names: Taworta, Taworta-Aero, Taria, Dabra, Bok.
Diuwe  100 Islam
Southwest of Sumo, east of Catalina River
Doutai  300 
Lakes Plain area, Toli-Dou village, west and south of Taiyeve. Alternate names: Taori, Taori-So, Tolitai.
Duvle  300  Christian
Lakes Plain area south of Van Daalen River and north of Mulia, Paniai. Eastern dialect along Dagai River, western along Fedide and Wedi rivers. Alternate names: Duvde, Duve, Duvele, Duvre, Wiri. Dialects: Eastern Duvle, Western Duvle. Few dialect differences.
Eipomek  4.100  Christian
Eastern highlands areaEipomek-01, Eipo River, east of Nalca [nlc]. Alternate names: Eipo, T-Valley. Dialects: Lexical similarity: 75% with Una [mtg].
Emem  2.100  Christian
Border area south of Jayapura. Alternate names: Emumu, Imimkal, Kiamerop. Dialects: Lexical similarity: 25% with Yafi [wfg].
Foau Tribe 690  Christian
East Lakes Plain area just north of lower Idenburg River, Foa and Mudiay villages. Alternate names: Doa. Dialects: Similar to Diebroud [tbp].
The FFuau-01oau people raise sago and vegetables and some also hunt pigs and crocodiles in the swampy lowlands. At an altitude of 100-700 meters above sea level the Foau people can best be accessed by airplane.
History / Activities
The Foau people are descendents from the Koida, Abaruda, Guinis and possibly Kuani clans. Intermarriage with Dabra, Baso, Taiyeve, Mander, Ures or Jagowa people is common.
No junior high schools nor high schools are in the language area.
Life in the Area
The Foau people usually wear modern clothing. The Foau peoples’ diet consists of fish, corn, bananas, sweet potato, and sago. The FOAU people use a variety of tools: machettes, axes, shovels, and crowbars. Houses are generally built on stilts with palm or sago frond flooring. The people get their drinking water straight from the river and only sometimes boil it. There are no health clinics in the area and transportation routes are not adequate.
There are 2 Evangelical Christian Churches of Irian Jaya in the language area.
Language Information and Use
The Foau are sometimes known as the Doa people but they prefer to be called Foau . The Foau language is part of the East Lake Plain language family.
Gresi  3.400  Animism
West of Lake Sentani, southeast of Genyem, Hawa, Bring, Tabangkwari, Yansu, Ibub, Sunna, Klaysu villages. Alternate names: Geresi, Glesi, Gresik, Klesi. Dialects: Lexical similarity: 80% with Kemtuik [kmt].
Hupla  4.500  Christian
Central highlands area east of Baliem gorge. Alternate names: Soba. Dialects: Similar to Lower Grand Valley Dani [dni]
Iwur River valley border area, Ok Iwur, east to Ok DenIwurom. Alternate names: Iwoer.
Kapauri  200  Christian
Upper Idenburg River, north bank, Pagai village, Kamikaru and Magri hamlets. Alternate names: Kapor
Kaure Tribe 500  Christian
Because their homeland is hilly and swampy with trees the KAURE people are farmers, hunters, and gatherers. At an altitude of 200-850 meters above sea level the KAURE people can best be accessed by bus or other vehicle. There is a road into KAURE territory from Jayapura.
The government housing center near the main airstrip was closed in 1973 because of rebel activity. Traditionally the women dance (akelik wakela) around men who are also dancing (opi wakela) and holding bows & arrows. Marriage customs dictate that children must marry outside both parents’ clan by paying a bride price. A church service funeral is often followed by a meal served in front of one of the village homes. Many KAURE people believe the spirit of a dead person lingers around the village.
There is 1 junior high school in the language area and no high schools. There are already a few books in the KAURE language.
Women’s main tasks consist of preparing sago, getting water and firewood, washing, and caring for their young. Most KAURE people wear modern clothing and eat sago, fruits and vegetables, as well as pig, bird, and deer. The KAURE people are known to make decorative drawings on their arrows, but some have modern equipment such as a TV, radio, and tape recorder. The government supplied aluminum for housing but some of the people prefer homes of sago roofs and palm-stem walls. The people identify themselves by clan. The leaders are often the oldest clan member or village head. Malaria, lung infections, and skin diseases are common in the area.
Language Information and Use
Both INDONESIAN and Kaure is used at church. Kaure is also considered a trade language.
Kembra  50
Jayawijaya Regency, Okbibab subdistrict, east of Sogber River
Ketengban  11.000  Christian
Near Papua New Guinea border, east highland slopes scattered, east of Eipomek [eip] and west of Ngalum [szb]. Alternate names: Kupel, Oktengban. Dialects: Okbap, Omban, Bime, Onya. Lexical similarity: 69% with Una [mtg]
Ketum Tribe 1.000  Animism
99% monolinguals. Northeast of Wambon [wms]. Alternate names: Kitum, Wambon-Ketum. Dialects: Related to Wambon, Mandobo. Lexical similarity: 49% with Wambon.
There are at least 1000 speakers of the Ketum language. They reside in the hills within the province of Papua, Indonesia. They live primarily by gardening and hunting in their foothills. With their land at an elevation of 200-500 meters above sea level, the Ketum people can best be visited by helicopter. There are neither junior high schools in the language area nor high schools.
The people eat vegetables, pigs, and wild animals. There is no road infrastructure in the area and neither are there radios or electricity. The people get their drinking water from a river or rainwater. There are no toilet facilities in this remote area. The Ketum people have no gospel cassettes, films nor videos in their language. There is one Reformed church building in the language area.
Almost all of the Ketum people (99.00%) are monolingual so they use Ketum at home with family and in the village with their friends. Many are registered as Catholics or Christians, but traditional religious influences are strong.
Kimki  500  Christian
Pegunungan Bintang Regency, Batom subdistrict, border area where Sepik River enters Papua. Alternate names: Aipki, Kimgi, Sukubatom, Sukubatong.
Komyandaret  300  Animism
East of Korowai [khe], north of Tsaukambo [kvz] and Wanggom [wng]. Dialects: Similar to Tsaukambo.

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Kopkaka  400
Jayawijaya Regency, Kurima subdistrict, Siradala, Burungmakok villages. Lowlands area south of the main ranges, southeast of Sumo and Dekai, south of Langda and Bomela. AKopkaka_tonelternate names: Kopka. Dialects: Marub, Tokuni. Similar to Kwer [kwr].
Korowai  3.600  Animism
3,000 monolinguals. South coast area, north of Boma, nkorowai-01ortheast of Senggo, southeast of Siradela, southwest of Awimbon. Alternate names: Kolufaup. Dialects: North Korowai, South Korowai.
Thkorowai-02e Korowai people are a Papuan people group of 3,500 to 4,000 speakers. Traditionally there are no villages. Each family/clan lives in a tree house on their own area. Regularly there are sago grub feasts that bring the people together.
They are located between the Upper reaches of the Eilanden and Becking river systems, in the north extending east to the Casuary River which drains in the Digul.
They are hunter-gatherers who also practice horticulture (bananas and tubers) and they have domesticated pigs. Their lives revolve around finding food and money, solving women and pig problems and organizing sago grub feasts.
They believe that localized spirits control the world and their lives and pig sacrifices have to be brought to keep these evil spirits from being nasty to the people. They strongly believe that every bad thing that happens is caused by spirits, witchcraft and magic and needs to be countered with anti-magic.
Korupun Sela  5.800  Christian
Jayawijaya Regency, Kurima subdistrict, Siradala, Burungmakok villages. East highlands on upper reaches of Erok River, southwest of Nalca, east of Yali of Ninia. Alternate names: Kimyal of Korupun, Korapun. Dialects: Korupun (Duram), Dagi, Sisibna (Gobugdua), Deibula, Sela. Related to Nalca [nlc]. Lexical similarity 60% with Nipsan [nps].
Kosare  300  Christian
Hulu Atas, west of Nawa and Idenburg rivers juncture. Alternate names: Kosadle.
Jayawijaya Regency, Kurima subdistrict, Kwer village. Lowlands area south of the main ranges, southeast of Sumo and Dekai, south of Langda and Bomela. Dialects: Similar to Kopkaka [opk]
Kwerisa  50  Christian
Lower Rouffaer River, Kaiy village. Alternate names: Taogwe. Dialects: Lexical similarity: 60% with Biritai [bqq].
Lower Grand Valley Dani  23.000  Christian
Central highlands, Baliem Grand Valley, and upper gorge. dani-01Dialects: Lower Grand Valley Hitigima (Dani-Kurima, Kurima), Upper Bele, Lower Bele, Lower Kimbin (Kibin), Upper Pyramid.
Manem  700  Christian
South of Jayapura, northeast border area, Wembi, Yeti, Kiba villages. Alternate names: Jeti, Skofro, Wembi, Yeti.
Mid Grand Valley Dani  63.000  Christian
Baliem Valley. Alternate names: Baliem Valley Dani, Central Grand Valley Dani, Tulem.
Molof  300  Christian
South of Jayapura, west of Senggi, Molof and Waley villages. Alternate names: Ampas, Poule. Dialects: Not closely related to any other language.
Momuna  2.200  Christian
Lowlands just south of main ranges, from south of Silimo east to south of Korupun-Sela [kpq]. Alternate names: Somage, Somahai, Sumohai.
Murkim  100  Islam
Pegunungan Bintang Regency, Batom subdistrict, southeast of Yetfa [yet], Mot and Milki villages. Dialects: Possible genetic relationship to Lepki [lpe].
Namla  30
Senggi Subistrict, Keerom Regency, Namla village. Dialects: Possible genetic relationship to Tofanma [tlg]
Narau  100  Christian
Jayapura area, Kecamatan Kaureh.
Nduga  14.000  Christian
Jayawijaya, Tiom, central highlandsNduga_ton, south of high ranges, south of Western Dani, north of Asmat. Scattered. Alternate names: Dauwa, Dawa, Ndauwa, Ndugwa, Pesecham, Pesechem, Pesegem. Dialects: Sinak Nduga, Hitadipa Nduga.
Ngalum  14.000  Christian
Northeast of Nakai, valleys of Ok Sibil, Ok Tsop, perhaps Ok Bon, main range border area north of Muyu [kts] (Yongkom) and Iwur [iwo]. Also in Papua New Guinea. Alternate names: Sibil. Dialects: Ngalum, Apmisibil, Sibil.
Nggem  3.700  Christian
North of Wamena, middle Haflifoeri River. Dialects: Similar to Walak [wlw]. Lexical similarity: 67% with Yali (Pass Valley) [yac], 62% with Walak, and 50% with Western Dani [dnw].
Ninggerum  1.700  Christian
Border area and in Papua New Guinea between Ok Birim and Ok Tedi rivers. Alternate names: Kasiwa, Kativa, Muyu, Ninggeroem, Ninggirum, Ninggrum, Orgwo.
Ninia Yali  12.000  Christian
Central highlands area south of Angguruk, east of Soba, west of Korupun, Ninia, Holuwon, and Lolat villages; Elelim, transmigrated by government in 1989 following earthquake. More than 50 villages. Alternate names: Jalè, Jaly, Ninia, North Ngalik, Southern Yali, Yali Selatan. Dialects: Different from Yali of Pass Valley [yac], Yali of Angguruk [yli], Hupla [hap].
Nipsan  3.000  Christian
Jayawijaya, Kurima, just west of Hmanggona. Alternate names: Southern Jale, Yale-Nipsan. Dialects: Lexical similarity: 78% with Kosarek Yale [kkl], 59% with Nalca [nlc].
Papasena  600   Christian
Lakes Plain area, lower Idenburg River just east of Rouffaer River juncture. Dialects: Lexical similarity: 23% with Sikaritai [tty]
Pass Valey Yali  6.600  Christian
Central highlands, east of Angguruk and northwest of Naltya, Jayawijaya, Kurulu, and Kurima. Alternate names: Abendago, North Ngalik, Pass Valley, Western Yali, Yaly. Dialects: Pass Valley, Landikma, Apahapsili. Related to Yali of Ninia [nlk], Yali of Angguruk [yli]
Sause  400   Christian
Southwest of Sentani, northwest of Lereh, Ures, Mubararon, Sause-Bokoko, Witti-Yadow, Lidya, Puaral villages. Alternate names: Seuce.
The Sause people primarily hunt and gather to sustain themselves but there are some who garden and do logging as well. At an altitude of 100-900 meters above sea level the Sause people can best be accessed by vehicle. There is a road to Lereh and an airstrip in Wres that is no longer useable.
History / Activities
The Dasera, Winim, Buriam, Burumban clans combine to make up the Lwes village of the Sause. Intermarriage with the Ures, Maburaron, Witi, Mander, and Foau peoples occurs frequently. Traditionally after death, corpses were put on platforms but now the dead are buried.
There are no junior high schools nor high schools in the language area.
Life in the Area
Sause women’s main activity is pounding sago. Most Sause men wear shorts and T-shirts and most of the women wear wrap-around cloth. They eat sago, wild pig, kangaroo, fruit, and vegetables. Most Sause people use bows and arrows to hunt. House walls are generally made of palm or tree bark with a leaf or zinc roof. There are some roads in the Sause area and electricity just outside the area in Lereh and in the logging town of Wamho. The people identify themselves as Sause even thoughs their leaders are determined by clan. Malaria, TB, tumors, and hernias are common physical aliments.
Silimo  6.800  Animism
Central highlands south of the range immediately west of Baliem River, Amo, Kiniage valleys. Alternate names: Paiyage, South Ngalik, Usak, Wulik. Dialects: Lower Samenage.
Sowanda  200  Christian
South of Jayapur, northeast border area. Alternate names: Waina, Waina-Sowanda, Wanja, Wanya, Wina.
Tangko  100  Christian
West of Nakai [nkj], Kawemaot village
Tebi  200  Christian
Border area south of Jayapura, south of Yafi [wfg], east of Emem [enr], north of Towei [ttn], Dubu, Jembatan Web, Affi villages. Alternate names: Dubu.
Tofanma  300  Christian
South Jayapuraborder area, Keerom Regency, Senggi subdistrict, Tofanma Satu, Tofanma Dua, and most of Namla villages. Alternate names: Tofamna. Dialects: Not closely related to any other language.
The TOFANMA peoplTofanma-01e mainly hunt and gather food but some also garden. There is a road at the edge of their homeland but their lands range from an altitude of 600 to1850 meters above sea level.
There are no junior high nor high schools in the language area.
Some of the TOFANMA people wear modern clothes. The peoples’ main dietary staple is sago, but they also eat sweet potatoes and bananas. Salt would be a healthy addition to their diet. The TOFANMA people utilize metal axes and knives as well as traditional tools. Houses are generally built on stilts and house walls are made of sago branches. The people get their drinking water generally straight from the river. The Evangelical Christian Church of Indonesia is in the language area.
Towei  200  Christian
Border area south of Jayapura, Towe Hitam village, south of Dubu [dmu], west of Emem [enr]. Alternate names: Towe.
Tsaukambo  800  Christian
West side of upper Digul River, north of Wanggom, south of Komyandaret. Alternate names: Kotogüt, Tsokwambo, Tsakwambo. Dialects: Most similar to Komyandaret [kzv]. Also related to Korowai [khe], Wanggom [wng], Kombai [tyn].
The TSAKWAMBO people maintain their livelihood by food-gathering, hunting, fishiTsaukamba-01ng, and logging in their isolated lowlands. With their land at an altitude of less than 100 meters above sea level, the TSAKWAMBO people can best be accessed by using a boat up the Digul and Arup rivers. By motorized canoe it is a 3 hour trip from Kouh to TSAKWAMBO land or Merpati flys into Tanah Merah which is somewhat close.
The TSAKWAMBO people have sagoworm feasts for some visitors and festivities often include dressing up in traditional clothing (with dog teeth, bird feathers, etc). The TSAKWAMBO people often intermarry with the “Taret” people of Danokit village.
Most TSAKWAMBO people wear modern clothing but rarely washed the clothing. The people eat sago, sagoworms, vegetables and fruits, as well as animals they hunt. The TSAKWAMBO have machettes, steel axes, and bow & arrows that they regularly use. Houses are generally framed with log posts having palm or cement floors and plank or stem walls. A tin or leaf roof completes the house. There are no SSB radios, telephones, or electric facilities in the area but there is a community TV. A health clinic is in Biwage but many of the TSAKWAMBO people have skin and lung diseases, and malaria. Some also have elephantisis. The nearest market is a long distance away in Kouh.
Una  5.000  Christian
East highlands on south slopes of main ranges east of Sela Valley, west of Ngalum, Bidabuh, east Weip Valley, Yay Valley, around Langda, BomeUno_tonla, Sumtamon. Alternate names: Goliath, Langda, Mt. Goliath, Oranje-Gebergte. Dialects: Lexical similarity: 75% with Eipomek [eip], 69% with Ketengban [xte].
Upper Grand Valley Dani  23.000  Christian
Central highlands, Baliem Grand Valley, and upper gorgeUpper-Grand-Valley-Dani
Usku  100  Christian
South of Jayapura, Usku village; west of Namla [naa], south of Molof [msl] areas. Alternate names: Afra. Dialects: Not closely related to any other language.
Viid  200  Christian
Border area south of Jayapura, Senggi village. Alternate names: Senggi.
Walak  1.800  Christian
Ilugwa, Wodo, Bugi, Mogonik, Wurigelebut villages. Alternate names: Lower Pyramid, Wodo.
Waris  1.400  Christian
Northeast Papua, Keerom Regency, Waris subdistrict, south of Jayapura. Alternate names: Walsa.
Waritai  200   Christian
Lakes Plain area around Taiyeve. Alternate names: Wari, Weretai. Dialects: Related to Doutai [tds].
Western Dani  218.000  Christian
Central highlands, west of Baliem Grand Valley, east from upper Kemandoga ValleDani-Western-01y. Alternate names: Dani Barat, Ilaga Western Dani, Laany, Lani, Oeringoep, Timorini. Dialects: Western Dani of Pyramid, Western Dani of Bokondini. Other dialects not as distinct as those listed. Lexical similarity: 65% with Obokuitai [afz], 60% with Wano [wno].
Yetfa   900  Christian
Pegunungan Bintang Regency, Okbibab subdistrict, border area east and north of Sobger River, south of Ji Mountain. Also in Papua New Guinea. Alternate names: Biaksi, Biksi, Inisine. Dialects: Yetfa and Biksi are 2 ethnic groups, speaking the same language.
Zorop   200  Christian
Northeast Papua, border area south of Jayapura, Warlef village, Yabanda Satu. Alternate names: Yafi, Jafi, Yaffi, Wagarindem, Wargarindem, Jafi Wagarindem, Warlef. Dialects: Lexical similarity: 25% with Emem [enr].

Papua, Dani Tribe, Finger Cutting

Papua, Dani Tribe, Finger Cutting



In some cultures amputation is a form of mourning. This was especially true of the Dani tribe from Papua, Indonesia. The members of this tribe cut off their fingers as a way of displaying their grief at funeral ceremonies. Along with amputation, they also smeared their faces with ashes and clay, as an expression of sorrow. It isn’t very surprising to learn that women were mostly subjected to this gruesome ritual. The religious beliefs of the tribe prompted this sort of ritual. If the deceased person was considered to be powerful, it was believed that their spirits would contain equal power too. In order to appease and drive away these spirits, several shocking practices were followed. Girls who were related to the dead had the upper parts of their fingers cut off. Before being cut, the fingers would be tied with a string for over 30 minutes. After the amputation, the finger tips were allowed to dry, before they were burned and the ashes buried in a special area. Dani tribe fingers 550×365 Tribe Practices Finger Cutting as a Means of Grieving Photo via Digital Grin Another explanation offered for the finger-cutting ritual is that the physical pain symbolized the suffering and pain due to the loss of a loved one. In such a case, the finger would be cut by a close family member, like the mother, father or a sibling. In a similar bizarre ritual, the tip of the little finger of babies are bitten off by their mothers. This perhaps originated from a time when most newborns died, from several causes. The hope was that by biting off the finger tip, the baby would be different from the others, and would perhaps, live longer. Dani tribe fingers2 550×366 Tribe Practices Finger Cutting as a Means of Grieving Photo via Brommel The practice has been banned in recent years. However, older women of the tribe are often seen with snipped fingers – all five of them. Dani tribe fingers3 550×363 Tribe Practices Finger Cutting as a Means of Grieving


East Papua, Dani Tribe, Baliem Valley

Dani Tribe,  Baliem Valley

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The way Dani tribals cook

Until the last decades the Dani tribes were some of the most isolated populations by swamps and mountains. They grew root crops, raised pig and used polished stone axes and adzes. They didn’t make pottery (which means “sign of the modernity”), but otherwise their technology was very much like that of the Neolithic of the Old and New Worlds.
There may be 250,000 Dani living in the central mountains, many live scattered among the steep mountain slopes. The Valley has one of the highest densities of population in Papua Province. The Dani Tribes build their huts in a compound nicely express both environmental adaptation and Dani’s character. The men’s and women’s huts have thick thatched roofs which keep rain, yet retain the heat from the earth, along with just enough smoke to discourage the mosquito.
Baliem Valley, inhabited by the Dani tribe, is the most fertile part of the highland covering the west of the New Guinea Island – Papua (Irian Jaya). Baliem Valley lies about 1800 m above the sea level, and it is surrounded by a crest of mountians some of which reach up to 4500 m. There are even some fish in the Baliem River which flows through the valley. The area covered by the Baliem valley is not large, roughly 60ճ0 km.
Dani tribe – Papua highlands – Irian Jaya
The first missionary, Loyd van Stone, parachuted there as late as 1954. Only then did the civilization of the Baliem valley, and Dani and Lani tribes, begin. Since then, the Baliem valley has become a gate for discovering the west of the Papua highland. No road has been built there yet, but in Wamana a large airport was built, and supplies are now transported by large freight airplanes. American Hercules planes brought vans and construction machinery. Thanks to this, a large network of asphalt roads could emerge, brick houses were built, etc. Despite all these developments, the Baliem valley is still dominated by the straw roofs of the Dani tribe.
Their fondness for “dressing up” shows the most during the time of war. You have probably seen the famous photos of Dani tribe members with boar tusks in their noses, and headdresses made of Paradise birds feathers. Dani men only wear long and thin kotekas. The women Danis wear short skirts woven from orchid fibers, decorated with straw, and with indispensable woven bags called “noken” across their backs. Similar to the women of the Yali tribe, the Dani women wear short skirts below their butts.
Despite the fact that Danis were discovered quite late – in 1938, they became one of the best known tribes in New Guinea. Dani occupied one of the most fertile parts of Papua. As a result they often had to fight for their territory. There were also frequent wars among the Danis themselves. They were the most dreaded head-hunting tribe on the island, which is even more remarkable if we consider that they did not eat their enemies, like the majority of other Papuan tribes did.
Dani build round or oval huts, and their villages are enclosed by fences. They are farmers, and their small fields are distinctly bordered. This is what helped Richard Archbold spot them from the plane. The Dani tribe’s customs and culture are very rich and interesting. Several pages could be written on these topics.
The main reason that the Dani tribe is so well known, is that the Baliem valley where they live, is relatively easy to reach these days. Wamena was a point of departure for many expeditions. The Dani villages are visited by virtually every tourist who sets out in west Papua. Some villages even show their original customs and hold mock wars.
Another thing which brought fame to the Dani tribe are the several hundred years old ”smoked” mummies of famous tribesmen. Two of them can be seen in the Baliem valley – in Akima and Jiwika villages.
Extracting salt by immersing banana stems in salt lakes is another relatively well known custom. The Dani tribe is also notorious for the following custom that if someone dies in the village, then each of his female relatives will have a segment of their finger cut off. The mutilated hands of women can still be seen in Dani villages, despite the fact that missionaries tried to purge them of this custom.

Dani , Baliem, Papua, tribe
Dani , Baliem, Papua, tribeDani , Baliem, Papua, tribeDani , Baliem, Papua, tribeDani , Baliem, Papua, tribe
Dani , Baliem, Papua, tribeDani , Baliem, Papua, tribeDani , Baliem, Papua, tribeDani , Baliem, Papua, tribe
Dani , Baliem, Papua, tribe Dani , Baliem, Papua, tribe
Dani , Baliem, Papua, tribe Dani , Baliem, Papua, tribe
Dani , Baliem, Papua, tribe

East Papua, Korowai Tribe

East Papua, Korowai Tribe


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The korowai, also called the Kolufo, are a people of southeastern Papua (i.e., the southeastern part of the western part of New Guinea). They number about 3,000. Until 1970, they were unaware of the existence of any people besides themselves.


The Korowai language belongs to the Awyu–Dumut family (southeastern Papua) and is part of the Trans–New Guinea phylum. A grammar and a dictionary have been produced by a Dutch missionary linguist.


The majority of the Korowai clans live in tree houses on their isolated territory. Since 1980 some have moved into the recently opened villages of Yaniruma at the Becking River banks (Kombai-Korowai area), Mu, and Mbasman (Korowai-Citak area). In 1987, a village was opened in Manggél, in Yafufla (1988), Mabül at the banks of the Eilanden River (1989), and Khaiflambolüp (1998). The village absenteeism rate is still high, because of the relatively long distance between the settlements and the food (sago) resources.


The Korowai are hunter-gatherers and horticulturalists who practice shifting cultivation. They have excellent hunting and fishing skills for gaining necessary protein. Information about Korowai trade patterns is scant. The Korowai have a few gender-specific activities, such as the preparation of sago and the performance of religious ceremonies in which only the male adults are involved.

Some Korowai have since the early 1990s generated moderate cash income by working with tour companies selling tours into the Korowai region. Within the tourist industry, opportunities are limited to hosting tour groups in villages for tourist-sponsored sago feasts, carrying luggage, and performing traditional displays.

For a short period (1996 – about 1999) the Korowai region was rapidly subjected to the exploitation of gaharu (Agarwood) with outsiders pushing into areas within the Korowai region where clans preferred no contact in a search for the valuable wood. In 1997, 1 kg of gaharu collected by a local Papuan would have a value of about $4.00 when sold to a trader; the gaharu was eventually sold to Middle Eastern and European market for about $1000 a kilo. The gaharu was transported out of Papua via port like Agats on the south coast or Jayapura on the north coast (via missionary flights to and from Yaniruma and Boma). The trading of gaharu was controlled by military-owned and operated businesses. Gaharu also fuelled a rapid trade in prostitution into the jungles of Papua which has helped contribute to the current AIDS epidemic throughout Papua.


The patriclan is the central unit with respect to social, economic, and political organization. Kinship terminology follows the Omaha I pattern (Lounsbury), knowing a central opposition between cross and parallel relationships. In Korowai society the forms of institutional levirate and predominance of avuncular relationships are found, as well as a kind of affinal avoidance relationships. Marriage is exogamous and polygynous. Preference is given to a conjugal relationship with the (classificatory) mother’s mother’s brother’s daughter.

Social life

Leadership structures are based on personal qualities of strong men rather than on institution. Interclan warfare occurs mainly because of witchcraft and sorcery-related conflicts.

Religious life

The Korowai universe is filled with all kinds of spirits, some more personal of character than others. Reverence is paid especially to the (spirits of the) ancestors. To Ginol Silamtena, the creator spirit, the Korowai do not ascribe an important role in their daily lives. Once in a lifetime a Korowai clan must organize a sago grub festival in order to stimulate prosperity and fertility in a ritual fashion. In times of trouble they sacrifice domesticated pigs to the spirits of the ancestors. The Korowai have an extraordinary and rich oral tradition: myths, folktales, (magical) sayings and charms, and totem traditions. With respect to death and afterlife the Korowai believe in the existence of a reciprocal type of reincarnation: those who died can be sent back at any time to the land of the living, by their kinsmen in the land of the dead, in order to reincarnate in a newly born infant of their own clan.

Contact with Westerners

The first documented contact by Westerners with members of a band of Korowai took place on March 17, 1974. The expedition was co-led by anthropologist Peter Van Arsdale (now at the University of Denver), geographer Robert Mitton, and community developer Mark Grundhoefer. Thirty Korowai men were encountered on the south bank of the Eilanden River, approximately 12 miles east of its junction with the Kolff River and 10 miles north of the Becking River. A basic word list was generated and observations were recorded regarding such things as fire making techniques.

In the late 1970s, a few Christian (Dutch Protestant) missionaries began to live among the Korowai.[citation needed] Dea Sudarman, an Indonesian anthropologist, made several documentary films on the Korowai for Japanese television in the 1980s. In 1993, a film crew documented an anthropological study in the Dayo village area by the Smithsonian Institution of Korowai treehouse construction and the practice of cannibalism as a form of criminal justice. This resulted in the film Lords of the Garden. In 1996 a local Christian community was established, the members of it mainly originating from the neighbouring Kombai people. For a long time the Korowai have been considered exceptionally resistant to religious conversion; however, by the end of the 1990s the first converts to Christianity were baptized. In the autumn of 2003, a small team of Bible translators from Wycliffe/SIL moved to Yaniruma.

In May 2006, tour-guide Paul Raffaele led an Australian 60 Minutes crew to report on the people.[8] After a few days’ filming, the crew were allegedly approached by a man who claimed his 6-year old nephew Wa-Wa had been accused of being a Kakua (witch doctor), and was in danger of being cannibalised. The 60 Minutes crew declined to offer assistance. Paul Raffaele approached the rival Seven Network, who agreed to send a Today Tonight crew to remove Wa-Wa from the area. Before being able to gain access to them, the crew were deported by Indonesian authorities at the Papuan capital of Jayapura over visa issues.[citation needed]

In January–February 2011, the BBC documentary Human Planet commissioned the Korowai building of a treehouse 35m high. In the episode it was explained that the Korowai built this treehouse this high to escape from the floods, biting insects, and enemy tribes. In reality the local Korowai clan showed the BBC film crew three possible trees that a tree-house could be built in, and the BBC producer picked the tallest.[citation needed]


The Korowai have been reported to practice ritual cannibalism up to the present day. Anthropologists suspect that cannibalism is no longer practiced by the Korowai clans that have had frequent contact with outsiders.[citation needed] Recent reports suggest that certain clans have been coaxed into encouraging tourism by perpetuating the myth that it is still an active practice.

In 2006, the television show 60 Minutes claimed that when someone in Korowai society is convicted of being a khakhua (secret witch doctor[citation needed]) he or she is tried, and if convicted he or she is tortured, executed, and eaten. Other unverified claims were made that the brain is usually eaten immediately, while still warm, and that pregnant women and children don’t participate in the cannibal act.


The distinctive high stilt architecture of the Korowai houses, well above flood-water levels, is a form of defensive fortification- to disrupt rival clans from capturing people (especially women and children) for slavery or cannibalism. The height and girth of the common ironwood stilts also serves to protect the house from arson attacks in which huts are set alight and the inhabitants smoked out.

East Papua, Kimyal Tribe

East Papua, Kimyal Tribe


The Kimyal Tribe live in the Eastern Highlands of  Papua, Indonesia.
They are sustenance farmers who were untouched by the outside world until
World Team missionaries Phil & Phyliss Masters brought the Gospel to their area in 1963.
Phil Masters was martyred in 1968 when he and fellow missionary
Stan Dale were killed and cannibalized by the Yale tribe.

Although most of the tribe still live in the stone age, the younger generation
have bridged the gap into the technological age. There are Kimyal students all over Indonesia
studying medicine, law, aviation, theology, etc.

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East Papua, Tanah Merah bay, Depapre, Yepase, Tabla-Supa, Tabla-Nusa, Amai, Ormo, Villages

Tanah Merah bay, Depapre, Yepase, Tabla-Supa, Tabla-Nusa, Amai, Ormo, Villages


North-Papua, west of Jayapura.

Tanah Merah is a area west of Jayapura and Sentani on the northern coast of West Papua. It consists of villages such as among others: Depapre, Yepase, Tabla-Supa, Tabla-Nusa, Amai and Ormo. Most of the villages in the area is located within the Tanah Merah bay. The language traditionally spoken in this area is called Tabla, and is related to the Sentani language.

Overview of the Tanah merah Bay, where most of the tabla language villages are located.


The village of Depapre. Americans used Depapre as a entry point to Jayapura during WW2. (14March 2012)

The village of Depapre, with its small harbor. (14March 2012)




Small riverbed in Amai. (14March 2012

Beach in Amai. Regurlarly visited by Jayapurans during weekends. (14March 2012)

View to coastal area near of Tabla nusa. (14March 2012)

Grinding Sago. (14March 2012)

House in Amai. (September 2004)

Adrian and Ebben (September 2004)

A cassowary bird at the beach. The bird was kept by locals who had caught it while it was still small, and raised it until it had reached a decent size before it ended its days on the food-table in 2005. (September 2004)

Cassovary bird.(September 2004)



(February 2005)

(February 2005)

Inside a traditional fishermans house. (February 2005)

The local church “Yauwari” in Yepase (February 2005)

Family in Yepase. (February 2005)

(February 2005)

Beach in Yepase.

Tabla Supa

Tabla Supa. (August 2006)

Village gathering after a funeral. (August 2006)

East Papua, Lepki Tribe

East Papua, Lepki Tribe


The Lepki people live in the interior of the western part of the island of New Guinea, which is commonly referred to as West-Papua. The area is located in the lowlands on the western side of Sogber River, a river which flows into the larger Idenburg River. The Lepki inhabit a rather small area compared to oth  er tribes in the vicinity, their territory being approximately 400 sq. km of land. The area is 170km south of the provincial capital Jayapura.  There are a few hilltops within the area but elevations higher than 400m are not found. Coordinates of the approximate centre of the Lepki area is S4 08.0 E140 26. The Lepki people in 2007 numbered only 328 people, compromising them also to one the less populated tribes in the region.

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East Papua, Jayapura, Kaure Tribe

East Papua, Jayapura, Kaure Tribe


The Kaure people live in region in north-east of West-Papua. The most well known Kaure villages are: Kaure, Lereh and Aurina 1 & 2. Lereh have recently been targeted for palm oil plantations, and large scale logging operations in the north of the area had already started to show in 2006. A road from Jayapura leads to Lereh and Kaure, road conditions are grim. Nawa river flows trough the Kaure area and all the way to the upper parts of Idenburg (Taritatu river), near the village of Hulu Atas. The villages if Aurina 1 and Aurina 2 are found on the Nawa river.


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East Papua, Jayapura, Lake Sentani, Ondoafi Tribe, Baberonko Village

East Papua, Jayapura, Lake Sentani, Ondoafi Tribe, Baberonko Village

Lake Sentani is located on the western part of the island of New Guinea, 15km west of the city of Jayapura. The ethnic people of Lake Sentani are named the Sentani people. These have a distinct language and culture, although related to the other peoples in the area. Nowadays local Sentani people are found around the lake, but also in the multi-cultural city of Sentani.

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West Papua, Ketengban tribal area, Nongme, Umtambor, Urubool, Sekame

West Papua, Ketengban tribal area, Nongme, Umtambor, Urubool, Sekame


Ketengban tribal area,

New Guinea

(Nongme, Umtambor, Urubool- and Sekame village) 

Location:West Papua. New Guinea Island.

The Ketengban people inhabit an area on the north-eastern side of the central mountain range in the IndonesianProvince of Papua, on the island of New Guinea. They live in an elevation varying from 6500feet in the mountainous region to 1500 feet in the northern hills and number between 12000-14000 people.

Ketengban language has been classified as Papuan stock and part of the Mek family in the Trans new guinea phylum. There are four different dialects: the Central, Eastern, Western and North-eastern, though all are mutually intelligible.Bounded in the east by Eipomek and the Mek Language, to the west by Apmisibil and the Nggalum language, and to the northwest bordering the less inhabited lowlands, were people speak the more unknown Lepki and Yetfa languages.

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