Bhukere: Traditional, Eco-Friendly Fishing Equipment


Now there are many modern fishing methods, ranging from environmentally friendly, to those that can damage the surrounding environment. However, some use traditional techniques and tools, for example, the Sentani people who use bhukere.

This Indonesian tradition is a form of public concern because it has meaning and philosophy. You can see the explanation about this Indonesian heritage below.

What is Bhukere?

What is Bhukere

Generally, bhukere are part of the West Papua community, especially the people in Ayapo Village, Sentani. Jayapura.

Bhukere meaning is divided into two. First, its meaning is a tradition related to people’s managing the environment, especially the waters.

The Sentani people believe that if humans destroy nature, disaster and calamity will come to them, and the figure who brought havoc was a supernatural being named heungali-khamali. Creatures in these waters will be angry if the ecosystem is polluted or damaged.

Second is the name of the tool for catching fish used by the Sentani Tribe. Another name is sero-sero. The material for making bhukere is wood with strong and long durability.

The types of wood that are often used by the community are olulu wood and suang wood, which are located in the garden area and community land.

In addition to catching fish, the community also uses bhukere to build traditional houses. Because of this, bhukere also has a high value for the Ayapo community.

The making of this tool by tribal chiefs and the community in the area of their customary rights. Not just making it, the process for the community also has a high meaning.

Bhukere Making Process

Bhukere Making Process

As explained earlier, certain stages and rules exist when people want to make and place these fishing gear.

The first step is to survey the bhukere placement sites. The location criteria must have a lot of fish.

After getting the location, the residents will start creating working groups which usually consist of three people. If the group is large, the maximum number of people in each group is ten.

Then the community will prepare wood as a raw material according to the needs for making bhukere. The existing wood they will chop the wood and form a circle like a fence.

Once completed, then the bhukere will be placed in the location they have previously determined.

People used to do a special ritual to summon fish to get a lot of fish. The person who calls the fish is the person who has been agreed and recognized by the indigenous people to be able to call the fish.

The term or nickname for people who have this ability is kabulo.

To summon a lot of fish, a kabulo also has special taboos. He should not eat certain types of forbidden fish. The type of fish has previously been agreed upon based on local customary provisions.

Fish Harvesting Process

The community determines the harvest time of fish based on signs from nature. An example is to see that the leaves on the plants around the bhukere area have started to bloom.

The next sign is the number of heuw fish that appear around the lake, which can be seen from the sun’s journey towards the south. Heuw is a native fish from Lake Sentani.

When they want to harvest, people also do not eat certain fish. This is the same as the provisions that apply to kabulo or fish callers.


Bhukere is not just a tool to catch fish for the Sentani people. This tool is also clear proof that people in Sentani love nature. The manufacturing process carried out together also shows the cooperation of the community.