Irarutu Tribe, One of the Largest Tribes in Papua Land

irarutu tribe

Papua is undoubtedly home to hundreds of tribes and loads of cultures. One of those diversities is the Irarutu Tribe. In this article, you will learn more about the tribe, its traditions, and other interesting things about Irarutu.


West Papua is home to tons of tribes. One of the largest tribes on this land is Irarutu, which means “the right words” in the local language. The tribe is spread within three places: Fakfak, Kaimana, and Teluk Bintuni.

Everything about this tribe is quite pleasant and warm. They love peace, pluralism, and bring humanity to the highest. The statement is not without any proof.

Even before religion came to Arguni, Bintuni, and Fakfak, Irarutu welcomed diversity. More than anything, this tribe has lived with others peacefully for centuries.

The Irarutu Tribe’s livelihood is mostly farming. They nurture large lands and farm various plants on them. One of the most farmed plants is nutmeg, even though the harvesting season was quite challenging when the climate changed like this past few years.

Irarutu Traditional House

Irarutu traditional house

Irarutu also has a type of traditional house named Sirus. Sirus and Irarutu are inseparable, after all. Besides being a house, Sirus is more like a monument showing that the Irarutu people are civilized and refined.

The most remarkable thing about this traditional building is its one-story long house made of wooden planks, with two doors. Similar to most traditional houses in Papua, Sirus has a staged foundation.

Instead of being merely a sanctuary, this house is where the education starts. Besides, Sirus is filled with philosophies, such as:

  • It brings the tribe together.
  • The traditional house is the prestigious symbol and the pride of Irarutu.
  • If conflicts are found in the tribe, Sirus will be the place for both sides to communicate.

This is why Sirus holds more than a house but a place for various things. People believe that this traditional house is an excellent place to arrange strategies (during colonialism), study, and experience the spiritual journey.

Traditional Clothes

Other than holding their nobleness in humanity, this tribe respects their traditions more than anything else. Irarutu traditional clothes are still around today – it’s called Fafurwar.

The clothes are made of the Fafurwar tree’s skin. The trees are mostly found near the coast, after all. Nowadays, traditional clothes are more popular during traditional events.

Yet, people still believe that not everyone can wear these clothes. Unless you are an only child, then you cannot wear it.

The Remarkable Noken

irarutu crafts

Irarutu crafts are also worth mentioning other than the clothes – it is called Noken. Noken is a traditional bag made of roots, wood’s skins, some kinds of leaves, and weeds.

Today, you may find lots of Noken made of synthetic materials. Back then, this bag’s size depended on who was wearing it. For males, the bag was smaller because they only brought lighters and other small items.

Meanwhile, females would bring a larger Noken because they had to bring food from the woods and harvested crops from the farm. Noken is simply a symbol of prosperity and a better life. This is why the people of Irarutu hold on to this item regardless of modernity.

Final Words

Papua is not just land – it is home to so many tribes in Indonesia. The diversity in the land of Papua is just a sign of how rich this country is. On the other hand, Irarutu has been living in Papua for thousands of years.

Even before Semitism came and formal education spread in Papua, the Irarutu Tribe had occupied the land. Sirus, the traditional house, is just proof of that existence.

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