The Existence of Agats, Muddy City with Various Myths


Exploring the interior of Papua, remember to stop by Agats. This Asmat Regency expansion area is one of the unique places to visit. In addition, mythical stories are also interesting to hear.

The History of the Muddy City

Nearly a hundred years ago, there was a priest from the Netherlands who became a missionary in the interior of Asmat. His name is Jan Smith, and he spreads the gospel in the primitive tribe.

But unfortunately, the priest was killed mysteriously. Before he died, Father Smith stated that residents were interpreted as a curse.

He said that the southern region of Papua would be wet and become a swamp and muddy city forever. The region is Agats. The current region does look like what Jan Smith said.

Related to the naming, the district built for this Dutch government post, the name was originally an Akat which in the local language means good.

But the Dutch find it challenging to say “Akat”, so the pronunciation becomes Agats.

Along The Region

This city is the capital of the new division area of Asmat Regency. The city is close to the Timika region in Mimika Regency.

It is easier to reach this region from Timika City using ships or pioneering aircraft.

Having a population of around 70,000 people,the city plays a significant role in the economy of Asmat Regency.

There is a uniqueness to this city. The condition of muddy land and swamps makes this city stand with road facilities in the form of boards. At first glance, this road will resemble a dock.

The entire road in this city resembles a bridge made of ironwood. But along with the development of technology, these bridges began to be refined in a more tangible form.

The city’s development is now carried out on this unique road. All buildings adjust to the shape of the houses on stilts. The primary means of transportation is an electric motor.

Facilities vs Creativity

The limited supply of clean water loading the community until now survives with rainwater accommodated in water tubes.

The condition of the swamp soil indeed makes it difficult for this land to provide clean water.

However, the infrastructure and infrastructure of the City are sufficient.

Ports, government offices, hospitals, markets, police stations, army posts, schools, and even museums already exist in this unique city.

The city of this new Asmat District uniquely aligns with its culture and tourist attractions.

The museum can be the first point that can be visit before studying the life of Asmat further. Various information about the Asmat tribe and their lives can be know in this museum.

Tourists inside and outside Indonesia have visited this well-maintained museum.

There is no cost to enter the museum, only the awareness of tourists to set aside a little cost for additional maintenance funds and operations of this museum.

Asmat Tribe’s Knowledge Gate

In addition, not far from the centre of the City, there is a traditional village call Syuru. In this village, we can see various typical cultures of Asmat.

From the Bujang House “Jew” to the engraving of Asmat’s pride, we can see the process in this village. Syuru Village can be a starting point for studying various Asmat cultures.

After going through this unique region, visitors can proceed to other island areas such as Sawaerma or Asuwetsy.

The city of Agats is the opening of knowledge before starting the adventure to know the Asmat tribe.

The existence of the city of Agats is proof of the persistence of the struggle of its inhabitants.

Despite various limitations, the city continues to stand up and develop itself in a better direction.