West Papua Diary

West Papua Traditional Clothes that Represent Papuan

West Papua

Source : Brents Tirton

West Papua is the most eastern part of Indonesia. At the same time, many secrets and interesting things are waiting to be found in Papua, especially in west Papuan culture. At least 466 tribes in West Papua, like the Asmat tribe, Biak, Nafri, Sentani, Demta, Kaureh, Kimaghama, Maklew, etc. 

The most-known Papua Traditional clothes are Koteka. However, /many traditional clothes become characteristic of West Papuan Tribes. Each of them has valuable meaning and unique process making. Therefore, this article will explore several West Papuan Traditional Clothes that represent West Papua!

Source : Sean Gelael

The Most-known Papua Traditional Clothes, Koteka

Koteka is the most well-known traditional clothes because of their quirky concepts. This traditional male clothing is specifically made to cover men’s genitals. This particle of clothing can be worn without any other part of clothing. 

Koteka is made from water-gourd skin. The water gourd must be cleaned of contents and seeds. The water gourd chosen must be old because it has a hard and durable texture. The old pumpkin is planted in sand or soil and then burned to make it easier to remove the seeds and fruit. After successfully removing the seeds and fruit, the pumpkin is dried by aerating over the fireplace.

The shape of the Koteka is long like a cone, and at the end of the Koteka is given partridge feathers or bird feathers.

Koteka is worn with ropes wrapped around the waist of the user, so it doesn’t come off easily. Koteka can be worn upright to signify that the wearer is a virgin. For men with a high social status or nobility, Koteka is worn upward and tilted to the right. 

Tassel Skirt, Lower Part Of Clothing Worn By Man And Women

This kind of skirt is made of sago leaves and neatly knitted. It can be combined with Baju Kurung or other upper outwear. Tassel Skirt is generally worn by West Papuans who live on mountains or beaches. Several tribes that wear tassel skirts are Yapen, Sentani, Enjros, Nafri, Biak Numfor, and Tobati. 

Baju Kurung, Exotic Women Upper Wear Clothing 

This Women’s Upper Wear Clothing is made of velvet fabric, and it looks thick and lavish. Outside cultures influence this part of clothing. Generally, Baju Kurung is combined with a tassel skirt complete with a fur tassel decoration. To complete the traditional clothing, the women who wear baju kurung wear a head covering made of cassowary feathers. 


Sali, Traditional Garment Special for Single/Unmarried Women

Made of dry sago leaves combined with tree bark, Sali is a traditional West Papua garment for single/unmarried women. Focusing on a beautiful brown color, Sali should be made from selected brown tree bark. At first glance, the Sali looks like a gorgeous brown sewing cloth worn by single/unmarried women. 


Yokal, Only Married Women can Wear this Traditional Garment

Who would have thought that there were only clothes for girls? In Papuan culture, married women are also provided with special clothes. Its function is to cover the upper body and should only be worn by those who are married.

Yokal’s clothing is made of tree bark strikingly earth brown or reddish. These clothes are woven and wrapped around the woman’s body.



Many West Papua cultures are still a mystery to us. While Papua traditional clothes are the simplest among other traditional clothing in Indonesia, it also consists of the most intricate way to wear and make them.

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