South Papua: Tourism, Tribe, and Livelihood

South Papua

In order to accelerate the distribution of development, improve public services and social welfare and raise the dignity of the Indigenous Papuans, the Government has enacted Law Number 14 of 2022 concerning the Formation of the Province South Papua.

South Papua in Brief

Apolo Safanpo is the Acting Governor of South Papua. The capital of South Papua Province is the city of Merauke, which is located in Merauke Regency.

This province is only filled with four regencies: Merauke, Mappi, Asmat, and Boven Digoel Regencies. Although there are only four districts, this province has a fairly large area, 131,493 square kilometers.

The Tribe and Livelihood in South Papua Province

South Papua

After recognizing the area, it’s time to comprehend the diversity of tribes and cultures in South Papua Province. Several tribes occupy the territory of South Papua Province, known as the Anim Ha customary area.

Anim Ha means the land of true humans. To enter this area, one airport can be used, namely Mopah Airport in Merauke.

When you visit here, you will be greeted by the Marind Anim tribe, which is also the host tribe. The Marind Anim tribe has seven major clans; Gebze, Kaize, Samkakai, Ndiken, Mahuze, Balagaize, and Basik-basik.

This tribe still strongly believes in Dema, a term for spirits that are believed to incarnate anything in nature. It is this belief that makes the Marind Anim people really appreciate the nature around them.

The Marind Anim tribe lives by farming and hunting. They like to eat sago and can process it into various types of food.

They also use sago palms to make boats and house-building materials. Therefore the Marind Anim people respect the sago tree, so it must be maintained properly.

Apart from that, there is also the Asmat tribe who live in the province of South Papua. This tribe is famous for its unique wood carvings, and this tribe is divided into two; those who live on the coast and those who live inland.

The Asmat tribe on the coast is divided into two ethnic groups: the Bisman tribe between the Sinestu and Nin rivers and the Simai tribe.

The greatness of the Asmat tribe is the ability to make carvings without the help of sketches, even making carvings has become a normal job for them.

South Papua Province Traditional House

For traditional houses, there is something unique, namely the existence of bachelor houses called gotad. Men from their teenage years will live in the house until they finally get married and leave.

Around the gotad house, there will be several family houses called oram aha or women’s houses. This house is also smaller and will be occupied by women.

Tourism Sector in South Papua

If you go to South Papua, you will find a unique natural phenomenon, Musamus. Musamus is one of the biodiversity in Merauke, South Papua. It is a towering structure of up to 5 meters built by termites from the Macrotermes group.

This phenomenon is made of soil with adhesive from grass and saliva, and there are passages where termite colonies live. It is equipped with ventilation holes to regulate the temperature and humidity inside this structure.

This phenomenon is generally found in the savannas of Wasur National Park, but there are also groups of musamus in Salor Indah’s village.

Residents of Salor Indah, the majority of whom work as farmers, have changed the area where the Musamus is located into a tourist spot with the name “Taman 1000 Musamus