Get to Know West Papua Giant Man: Marind-Anim Tribe

West Papua giant man

Broadly speaking, there are two state regions on Papua Island, which is also known as New Guinea Island. The eastern side is a part of Papua New Guinea, and the western side is a part of Indonesia. The Indonesian territory starts from Sorong to Merauke, where West Papua giant man exists.

Most people also know the giant man as Marind-Anim Tribe. It is one of the biggest tribes that live in Merauke. Aside from Merauke, they also live in southern Papua. Starting on the right and left side of Bian River to Moeli River in the west. Some of them also administratively, live in Papua New Guinea region.

The Reason Why They are Called Giant Man

West Papua giant man

It is already common knowledge that Papuan people have a good physic. Most of them are tall, big, and strong compared to the average other Indonesian. Especially those who are living in the coastal area of Papua. However, the tallest among them were the people of the Marind Tribe.

Some people also know them as Marind-Anim. The word “anim” itself literally means “men”. Then, the women in the Marind Tribe call themselves Marind-Anum. Because, the word “anum” literally means “women”. They were called giants because their body posture is very tall.

Most members of Marind-Anim can have a height from 190 cm to more than 2 meters. In fact, teenagers aged 14 to 15 in this tribal group can reach 180 cm in height. This height is certainly much higher than the average height of most Indonesians. It includes another tribe that exists in the land of Papua.

The History of Marind-Anim

The History of Marind-Anim

Basically, Marind-Anim is one of the native tribes of Papua that has a unique history to explore. Apart from their genetics which gives them extraordinary height, their tribal customs are also very interesting. It is not much different with the Asmat Tribe, in the past, they used to do headhunting.

This is why the history of Marind-Anim is very intriguing. It is because, according to their beliefs, the skull does have high prestige. Apart from headhunting, they also practiced cannibalism in the past. However, these two tribal traditions are completely unrelated to each other.

They surely eat the flesh of the people they kill, but that is not the main purpose of headhunting.  The headhunting tradition is related to the ceremony of naming a newborn baby. However, cannibalism is related to their beliefs that spirits or demons are incidental, so they need to eat it.

Due to their tall stature like giants, the warlords of Marind-Anim were very formidable. They make traditional weapons of Papua by themselves. At that time, they often interfered with other tribes, such as Saibai, Boigu, and Dauan.

However, all of these traditions have been dead for a long time, especially after evangelism in the land of Papua.

Marind-Anim in the Present

Marind-Anim Tribe

In the midst of globalization, some members of the Marind tribe still choose to live a traditional life. They still build traditional houses of Marind-Anim by themselves. Carving in their homes was the most popular thing. Aside from that, they also still maintain social order among their own tribal members.

Most of them work as farmers and cultivators. However, some hunt for animals and catch fish in the river. The main economic commodity of this tribe is agriculture. They also have their own unique farming method, which is very interesting.

Then, because of its popularity as West Papua giant man, members of this tribe also have great potential as athletes. This is because of their posture and stamina, which are very great. Unfortunately, their potential has yet to be utilized properly by the government. While they are indeed the hidden gems.