History of Hundreds of Years-Old Mummies in Papua

mumi papua
mumi papua



Mummies are synonymous with Egyptian cities, right? Even in the film, many of the mummies, including the results of research, all came from Egypt.


Actually, Mummification is a preservation technique that is identical to Egypt. 


Egypt is famous for its many pyramid relics and mummies. Egypt itself is said to have the best level of mummification technology. 


In Egypt, bodies that are hundreds of years old still look intact and many still look like humans.


Usually the purpose of the preservation or mummification technique itself is to honor people or figures who used to have a big share during their lifetime, such as a king or someone who has a great influence on his tribe or country.


But in fact, in Indonesia, precisely in Papua there are mummies that have been successfully created, even reaching more than 300 years old. 


And there are also 7 mummies, all from the dani tribe, in jiwika village, Kurulu district, north of wamena city. 


Mummies in Wamena are scattered in several districts, three mummies in Kurulu district, three mummies in Asologaima district, and one female mummy in Kurima district. Female mummies should not be shown, because the People of Wamena believe that being shown can bring disaster to the tribe.


The mummies of the dani tribe are not ordinary mummies, but rather the chieftains and warlords who became role models of tribal members during their lives. While still alive, they advised that when they died to be preserved.


Chieftain as Oldest Mummy


As the chieftain, he certainly didn’t want to leave his society in unfaithfulness. Therefore, before death the chieftain who had his real name 

‘Wim Motok Mabel’ which means in the local language is great in this war, advised that his body be preserved.


The reason is because so that the community remains prosperous and happy, and so that children and grandchildren can remember themselves,


In addition, Wim motok mabel itself is also known as the carrier of welfare for its people. 


It turns out that indirectly, it is proven, the dani tribal community became prosperous with the existence of this preserved mummy. 


Behind its creepy shape, thanks to this mummy, the people in Sompaina Village can live prosperously. Because, this mummy is an attraction for tourists which means it can be a source of income for its villagers.


It turns out that the ancestors of the dani tribe have thought very long for the welfare of their people with this. 


Uniquely, to see this mummy needs a deal, it cannot be careless and not free. The mummy will only be removed from the ‘Honai’ which is the traditional home of the Dani tribe, after a price agreement. Then not only get there, if you want to take photos will be charged an additional price.


So if you are visiting Wamena, negotiate smartly.


In addition to mummies as a tourist attraction, in this village there are also beautiful local accessories to buy as souvenirs, such as noken, koteka, pig fangs and coffee. The price ranges from tens to hundreds of thousands. 

3-Century Mummy Shape 


From many studies, as well as what you often find in movies, the shape of the mummy is like a very dry human body, some are even intact like humans. 


This 3-century-old Papuan mummy is black with a sitting position and looking up at the sky. His mouth looked gaping with both hands holding each of his two knees. There are koteka and also hats that look very dry. 

How to Preserve the Mummy of the Dani Tribe.


Mummification or preserving mummies is done by the Wamena Dani tribe itself, used to be done by preserving using traditional methods, namely smoked for 200 days. The body must be smoked with lard.


So that’s the history or story of 3 centuries of mummies in Papua, especially the dani tribe. 


Interested in seeing the mummy in person? 

Visit the dani village in Papua!