The Papuan Traditional Weapons and Their Uniqueness

Papuan Traditional Weapons

Almost every tribe, including those in Papua Province, owns traditional weaponry. Papuan traditional weapons are also noted for their originality in terms of material and appearance.

Cassowary Bone Dagger

The Cassowary Bone dagger is not very big, but its accuracy can make opponents tremble in fear. There are traditional weapons that are fashioned of cassowary bird bones.

One of these Papuan traditional weapons is sharp at the tip and ornamented with feathers on the hilt.

The said equipment is also embellished with cowhide fabric. Another decoration is shells attached to cassowary feathers.

The Asmat Tribe was the first to use this dagger. Weapons were thought to be employed only for ritual executions in the past.

Arrow and Bow

Each tribe in Papua has a different type of bow and arrow in terms of form, use, the material of production, and even pronunciation.

A little palm or palm tree provides the material for creating bows or tinim.

The break in the tree is as wide as three fingers. The bow is then linked with the opposite end of the bow to make a semicircle.

A particular bamboo is also used in the bow, which is crushed and placed in the middle. A genemo rope is spun to hold the bamboo, and it is also connected to the bow.

While this happens, arrows are manufactured from alip or eunuch trees and bamboo trees harvested from the forest. Then, to make it straight, this tree is handled with fire.

A bamboo arrowhead is used to fasten the arrow once it has been straightened.

The bamboo that will be used as an arrowhead had previously been fashioned. Three arrowheads are produced: the spear, the double-edged knife, and the jubi.

Axe of Stone

Oval axes are standard Papuan traditional weapons. The stone axe culture, however, was all but forgotten over time. Stone axes undergo a functional change in Sentani culture, a powerful tribal tribe in Papua.

To cut trees or construct boats, stone axes are no longer a helpful instrument.

Especially during customary ceremonies like the payment of dowry, traditional fines, and head payments, the stone axe, or he (Sentani language), is used as an inherited possession with social value.

Stone axes come in a variety of shapes and sizes in Sentani. He Nokhong wields a black stone axe. He Phinukhu, stone axe in black and green.

The green stone axe, He Hawaphu. Black stone axe with white markings, He Khongge. The greenish stone axe, He Hawa phulu.

He nokhong, phinukhu, hawaphu, and khongge are the stone axes most commonly used in traditional ceremonies and payments.


Traditional hunting equipment includes the spear. One of the Papuan community’s livelihood systems is hunting.

As a tool of battle, spears can be employed to hold territory or defend it. War is an achievement or a source of prestige for the Papuans.

Numerous spearheads were manufactured of metal after many people had contact with people outside of Papua.

The mountain tribes employ iron forged in the shape of a spear with a length of 3 to 5 meters.

The spear’s tip is made tapered. As a result, if the weapon is stabbed into the opponent, it has the potential to penetrate the opponent’s body and kill them.

The Mappi and Asmat tribes’ spears are fashioned of wood with jagged edges and a base adorned with bird feathers.

Spears are the traditional weapons used to hunt wild creatures, such as wild boars, cassowaries, deer, and kangaroos, in addition to being employed in warfare.

However, Papuan traditional weapons are also utilized for dances as part of traditional festivities or art performances.