The Origin and Interesting History of The Arfak Tribe

The Origin and Interesting History of The Arfak Tribe

Indonesia is a diverse country. Many ethnic groups live in all parts of the archipelago. One of the archipelagos with the most native tribes is the land of Papua. There are approximately 255 tribes that exist and live here. It includes the Arfak Tribe, one of the largest tribes in the land of Papua.

This is a large tribe that consists of four sub-tribes: Hattam Tribe, Meyakh Tribe, Sough Tribe, and Moile Tribe. They all live side by side in the Arfak Mountains region. Here is the origin of the Arfak Tribe and the history that you need to know!

The Story Behind Its Name

The origin of the Arfak Tribe

Basically, the name “Arfak” is taken from where they live, that is, in the mountains of Arfak. Before the year of 2012, this place belonged to Manokwari Regency. However, in 2012, this place officially became an independent regency, namely Arfak Mountains Regency.

However, how was this place called the Arfak Mountains? And, how were all the native tribes that live here called the Arfak People? It turned out that it was the name the coastal people gave them. The Biak Numfor Tribe refers to “Arfak” to the hinterland and mountains, including the people.

The name has already existed since the 18th century. However, at first, the people of Arfak did not accept the name well. They still refer to themselves as Hattam people, Meyakh people, Sough people, and also Moile people. Meanwhile, the name of the mountains is Indon or Indonga in the Hatam language.

However, over time, they began to accept the name of Arfak. And they also began to refer to themselves as the Arfak people.

The Story Behind Its People

the origin of the Arfak people

Aside from the story behind its name, the origin of the Arfak people is also interesting. According to the myths and folklore that the locals believe, there are two stories about it.

In the first story, they are the creation of Ajemoa, the God of the Arfak people. Meanwhile, according to the second one, they come from animals.

According to the first folklore, it was Ajemoa who created Siba, the ancestor of the Arfak Tribe. Then, Siba gave birth to three children named Iba, Aiba, and Towansiba. The origin of the clans or surnames in Arfak, like Towansiba, Saiba, Inyomusi, Ahoren, Iba, etc.

However, some also believe their ancestors came from a dog. In ancient times, there was Imnyena, a man who had a dog. Then, the dog became pregnant and gave birth to three children. They are two dogs and also a human daughter.

Then, after the daughter grew up, she married and had children. The locals believe she was the first person to marry in Meyakh. This is where the origin of the clans or surnames like Salabai, Mandacan Indou, Wonggor, Tibyai, Dowansiba, Ullo, Demih, etc.

How Arfak People Get Along in the Past and Present

traditional weapons of the Arfak Tribe

As you already know, four sub-tribes belong to the tribe of Arfak. The Hattam Tribe lived in the southern area, and the Sough lived in the northern area. Then, the Meyakh Tribe lived in the eastern area, while the Moile Tribe lived in the western area.

In the beginning, the people between tribes were hostile to each other and strangers. It is why they keep bringing machetes, the traditional weapons of the Arfak Tribe. But now it does not happen anymore. As time goes by, they start to live in harmony. They also start to be friendly to strangers.

Up until now, the Arfak Tribe is one of the most friendly inland and mountainous tribes in the land of Papua. So, for now, you can easily make friends with them and learn about their culture and traditions.