As one of the largest islands in Indonesia, it is quite understandable that Papua has diverse cultures that spread in their territory. Papua culture of Indonesia has more than hundreds of tribes and millions of populations. Even though the population density is not as crowded as the other islands, Papua still manages to hold the most diverse culture and tribe in these regions.
These tribes usually will have their own language, that is differ from their neighbor tribe. These facts alone could prove that Papua is definitely diverse and has a richer culture than others. To understand the cultural elements of the Papua region, let us read the following article.
Rich is the Papua Culture of Indonesia
These are to differentiate the tribes between the place of inhabitants. They are from the mountainous area and coastal area. Here they are.
The Highlands Papuan
The Papuan people are said to be the descendants of the first New Guinea inhabitants 40,000 years ago. These people have approximately 300 or more tribes that scatter around the area. Their livelihoods usually diberse from the coastal area, the mountain area, or the forest.
The mountain area will suffice their need by cultivating the land with plants like yame, canes, sweet potatoes and many more. In this mountainous area, there is Baliem Valley that is filled with tribes like Dani tribe, Lani tribe, and Yali tribe. These tribes are the one who celebrate the Baliem Valley Festival over the years. The highland inhabitants are also famous for their pieces of clothes such as koteka. Every koteka is unique from one tribe to another and usually used to identify the tribes.
The Lowland Papuan
Besides the coastal and the highland inhabitants, there are also people who lived in the lowland area. These tribes usually differ by the way they process food and search for it.
The lowland tribes usually use sago trees for their staple food. These trees will be processed to become sago food. They also will do fishing in the river and cultivate land to suffice their needs. Furthermore, many tribes will hunt animals like boar that mostly cannot be cattled.
The Coastal Papuan
These parts of Papua culture of Indonesia usually lived and searched for food by the coastal regions. The Papuan people that live in this area tend to be more influenced by the cultures of foreign countries. That is because they have interacted with these cultures through trading and missionary activities.
The interactions are due to the region’s locations that have easy access to them. This is what makes them have trade activities in the first place. Even so, there are some parts of the region that are still uncommon to the people. Many also seem to seclude themselves from the outside world entirely.
The Religion of Papua People
Even though the colonization of the Ditch introduced the Papuan with the Christianity, it was not greatly accepted until in the early 20th century. This was decades after the official introduction in 1850.
From that day, many Papuan have come to believe in the Christian religion and have set up some establishments for the prayer activities. The Chatolic religion is also greatly accepted in the year of 1920 after the following establishment of Chatolic school is made. Even so, the tribes seem more attentive towards the religion of Animist or Christian. Whereas the people from other areas are tend to be Muslim.
The richness of the Papua culture of Indonesia is no doubt to be proven true. It is not only a matter of languages or the number of tribes, but about the diverse traditions and cultural differences. It is large, and even larger than other tribes in Indonesia. To keep this large and diverse culture to become known, we must appreciate their culture and learn more about their beliefs and traditions so it will not disappear for the sake of future generations.