Get to Know 4 Mythological Creatures in West Papuan Myth

West Papuan myth

Broadly speaking, Indonesia has a lot of mythological creatures. Starting from Leak, Kuyang, Nyi Roro Kidul, etc. It also happens in Papua, where there are several myths about magical creatures. That kind of West Papuan myth about those creatures is even still believed up until today.

Although several major religions have entered the land of Papua, some local beliefs are still ingrained in them. It includes the beliefs in the existence of some mythological creatures in West Papua. Most of them are in animal form, starting from a bird, a snake, a gorilla, etc.

So, here are all the lists of myths in West Papua and what you should know about them!

1. Watir Bird

Watir Bird endemic birds of Papua

In the belief of the people that live in Tambrauw, there is an existence of a watir bird. Watir is a bird that belongs to the cendrawasih species or bird of paradise.  It is one of the endemic birds of Papua. If other birds of paradise usually have colorful feathers, the watir bird is definitely not like that.

Instead of having colorful feathers, their feathers are pure white. Local people believe that the creature lives around the Anenderat Waterfall. It is situated in Miyah District, Tambrauw Regency. They believe the bird came from a water source called Syakwa.

The birds are interesting because their chirps are similar to human singing. Some believe that this creature does exist. However, some others believe that Watir is just a mythological creature who did not exist.

2. A Snake that can Stand


Still in Tambrauw, there are other mythical creatures that many people believe in. It is about the existence of a snake that can stand. It lives in the deep forest of Tambrauw, which is connected to Sorong. This is one of the mytical creatures of West Papua who guards the forest against impolite people.

According to locals, this snake has giant. Unlike any other snake in general, this one mythological snake does not slither but stands and jumps to passers by. They will not bother you if you are polite. So, people will ask permission when they pass the area.

Even though the snake cannot speak, it can understand human language. So, you can just ask for their permission in your own language when you need to pass that area.

3. A Giant Gorilla


A Giant Gorilla

Aside from the snake, another giant creature of West Papua comes from a deep forest in Tambrauw Regency. It comes from the form of a gorilla. Locals believe that it is the incarnation of their ancestors, which is responsible for maintaining the forest from other creatures.

In the myth of West Papuan, especially the people of Tambrauw, usually, the giant gorilla lives on the side of a forest. They are not evil and will not show themselves to people with no evil intentions. But, if you have the intention to destroy the forest, then be prepared to meet and be disturbed by them.

4. Matotuo



If the Tambrauw people believe that the giant gorilla is the incarnation of an ancestor, the people of Bicari Cape also have similar mythology. However, it is not in the form of a giant gorilla but in the form of Matotuo. In general, this mythological creature is similar to aliens.

The traces of this one mythological creature exist on several cliffs in Bicari Cape. In ancient times, their ancestors painted the picture of how Matotuo looked on the walls and the rocks. Therefore, Matotuo is believed to be a mythological creature from the Kaimana people in prehistoric times.

So, those are the lists of mythological creatures in West Papuan myth that you need to know.