Papua Pegunungan: A Landlocked Province

Papua Pegunungan

The first and only province in Indonesia without a coastline is Papua Pegunungan. Papua Pegunungan Region is situated in the eastern Jayawijaya Mountains. It has peaks like Puncak Mandala and Puncak Trikora, Indonesia’s highest range.

President Joko Widodo gave the Papua Pegunungan Province its official inauguration on July 25, 2022. Nikolaus Kondomo has been appointed Acting Governor of this new province. The city of Wamena, which is in the Jayawijaya Regency, is Papua Pegunungan’s capital.

Papua Pegunungan in Brief

Papeg covers 8 regencies that were formerly part of Papua Province. They are Jayawijaya, Gunung Bintang, Yahukimo, Tolikara, Mamberamo Tengah, Yalimo, Lanny Jaya, and Nduga.

Papua Pegunungan Province has the traditional name La Pago. 23 tribes live in the Papua Pegunungan Province, three of which are the Dani, Nduga, and Nayak, tribes.

Nayak people occupy Wamena City and Mount Trikora in the Baliem Valley. Most Nayak people’s livelihoods are as sweet potato and taro farmers. Their staple foods are sweet potatoes, vegetables, and pork, cooked by piling them on hot stones.

Nduga people inhabit the central mountains in the south. The tribe believes their ancestors came from Seinma, a village in Kurima.

The Nduga community is divided into people living in hot areas such as Mapenduma, middle areas such as Mbua, and cold areas such as Yigi. To meet their daily needs, the Nduga people have plantations and special areas for hunting.

La Pago region produces many high-quality goods due to its mountainous location, including onion, red fruit, coffee, sweet potato, aloe, rubber, pineapple, orange, and vegetables.

The Sector of Tourism in Papua Pegunungan

La Pago region has a wide range of animals, plants, and scenic views. Building architecture, tribal dance, traditional ceremony, and ethnobotany—the use of plants as part of culture’s wisdom—are all part of cultural tours.

Among the main travel industry areas from this native region is the festival in Baliem Valley and Jayawijaya Pinnacle.

Baliem Valley Festival

Baliem Valley Festival

The Jayawijaya Mountains contain a valley known as the Baliem Valley. It is located at an altitude of 1600 meters above sea level.

This festival is an arena for intertribal power struggles and has been passed down for generations, but of course, it’s safe for you to enjoy.

Over time, the Baliem Valley Festival has become a show of intertribal warfare and a cultural and artistic performance for the people of the Central Highlands, Papua.  Of course, the attraction of intertribal wars is also the most important and anticipated part.

The Baliem Valley Festival lasts for three days and is held every August to coincide with the month of the Republic of Indonesia’s independence celebrations.

Initially, it was first held in 1989. What is special is that this festival began with a scenario that triggered the war.

By attending the Baliem Valley Festival, you will have a rare opportunity to learn and come into direct contact with various traditions of different local tribes without traveling to the far and arduous interior of West Papua.

It is estimated that this festival is attended by more than 40 tribes, complete with traditional clothes and paintings on their faces.

Clothing and Traditional Houses of the Province of Papua Pegunungan

When mentioning Papua, you must be familiar with its traditional dress called Koteka. Numerous indigenous people still wear yellow kunden-made Koteka in this region. In the meantime, the women dress in clothes called “Wah” composed of fiber and grass.

They typically live in a traditional home known as honai, which is a hut with thatched roofs.

Even though most people have converted to Christianity, significant religious ceremonies remain.

Many traditional ceremonies still held today are accompanied by dance, song, and offering to the ancestors.

That’s the profile of the Papua Pegunungan Province. Hopefully, this information can be useful for you.