East Papua Puncak Jaya tribes

Written by on March 28, 2012 in Papuan Tribes with 0 Comments

Papua tribes

Puncak Jaya tribes

Puncak Jaya, tribes, fayu, edopi, lau, duvle, zorop, tebi, dem, wolani, dao, towel, auye, tunggare, burate, toranma, kehu, usku, tause, namla, semini, molof, mer, viid, yaur, iresim, ekari, kamoro


Auye 400  Christian

Paniai Regency, Napan subdistrict. Central Highlands, Siriwo River, mountains southeast of Cenderawasih Bay. Alternate names: Auwje. Dialects: Related to Ekari [ekg].

Burate  100  Animism

Yapen Waropen Regency, Waropen Bawah subdistrict, near Wapoga River mouth. 1 village. Dialects: Lexical similarity: 69% with Demisa [dei], 75% with Tunggare [trt].

Most of the Burate people live in one village along the Wapoga river and primarily work as forest gatherers, loggers, or fishermen. Living at an altitude of less than 100 meters above sea level the Burate people can best be accessed by boat. The boat ride from Serui is less than 10 hours. The government built houses for the people more than 20 years ago but many of those homes have fallen apart.
The people eat fish, vegetables, and fruits.

Dao  250

West central highlands, Paniai Regency, Napan subdistrict, eaDao_tonst of Cenderawasih Bay along Dao River. Alternate names: Maniwo, “X-Ray”. Dialects: Lexical similarity: 75% with Auye [auu].

Dem Tribe 1.300  Christian

The Dem are primarily subsistence farmers in their mountaneous homeland in the Bina Valley of central Papua. They can best be accessed by airplane.
History / Activities
Dem speakers have a legend that says they come from a “hole in the ground”. They enjoy unique songs and dances. The Dem men will often pay a bride price to obtain a wife. Upon death, a body is often cremated instead of buried.
Life in the Area
The women work primarily in the home or as gardeners and some still wear grass skirts. Sweet potatoes are a diet staple. The Dem folk have and use knives and axes. Dem houses are built similar to Dani homes. Dem people identify themselves by tribe and clan. The Dem people look up to their chief, their pastor, and their village leader. The Evangelical Christian Church of Indonesia has churches in the language area.
Language Information and Use
The Dem are sometimes known as the Lem, Ndem people. They prefer to be called Dem or Lem

Edopi  1.200  Christian

Tariku (Rouffaer) and Kliki (Fou) rivers juncture area. Alternate names: Dosobou, Dou, Doufou, Elopi, Foi, Iau, Turu, Urundi, Ururi, Yau.

Ekari  140.000   Christian

West central Fayu-01highlands, Paniai. Alternate names: Ekagi, Kapauku, Me Mana, Mee Mana, Tapiro. Dialects: Simori, Yabi (Jabi), Mapiya-Kegata, Mee. Most similar to Wolani [wol]. Slight dialect difference with Mapiya-Kegata.

Fayu  300 Christian

West of juncture of Tariku (Rouffaer) and Kliki (Fou) rivers, west of Kirikiri [kiy]. Alternate names: Sehudate

The Fayu are an ethnic groupFuau-01 that live in an area of swampland in New Guinea. When first contacted by westerners they numbered about 400; a number reduced from about 2000 due to violence within the group. The Fayu generally live in single family groups with gatherings of several such groups once or twice a year to exchange brides. Two books have been written about living among them by Sabine Kuegler and the group are used as an example of a band type society in Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies.

Sabine Kuegler (born December 25, 1972 in Patan, Nepal) is a German author. Her two books are related to her uncommon childhood: from age 7 to age 17 she lived with her parents and two siblings in the jungle of West Papua, with the remote tribe of the Fayu.

Her parents were the first whites to live with the newly discovered tribe of about 400 people, who still hunted with bow and arrow, ate snakes, insects and worms, and practiced inter-tribal warfare and revenge killings. The Kueglers were there to study the tribe’s language and to evangelize, under assignment of the Wycliffe Bible Translators. Her mother, trained as a nurse, performed midwife duties with the tribe. At age 17, Sabine Kuegler left and attended a Swiss boarding school. She has been married and divorced twice and has four children, two from each husband. Her parents have returned to Germany.

Her best-selling first book Dschungelkind (Droemer Knaur, München 2005, ISBN 3-426-27361-6) describes her experiences in the two different cultures and her occasional nostalgia for the simpler, slower life of the tribe. An English translation (Jungle Child, ISBN 1-84408-261-X) appeared in the same year. Her second book, Ruf des Dschungels (Droemer Knaur, München 2006, ISBN 3-426-27393-4) describes a visit to the Fayu that she undertook in late 2005.

The German group Gesellschaft für bedrohte Völker criticized her first book, claiming that it romanticized the life of the Fayu and pointing out that it failed to mention the human rights violations of the Indonesian government against Papua peoples, and their endangerement by clearing of the jungle and industrial projects.[2] In her second book and in public appearances, Sabine Kuegler has since emphasized these political issues and has aimed to be spokesperson for the threatened Fayu.

Iau  1.400  Christian

Puncak Jaya Regency, Faui, Lakes Plain area between Rouffaer and upper Van Daalen rivers, Barere, Fawi, Taiyai villages. Poi dialect on Rouffaer River; Turu dialect on Van Daalen River. Alternate names: Foi, Iaw, Turu, Urundi, Ururi, Yau. Dialects: Foi, Turu, Iau. Similar to Edopi [dbf]. Distinct from Yawa [yva]. The varieties listed as dialects above may be separate languages.

Iresim  200 Animism

South Cenderawasih Bay, west of Nabire and around Yamur Lake. Alternate names: Beduba, Yerisiam.

Kamoro Tribe 11.000  Christian

SoutKamoro-01h coast, Etna Bay to Mukamuga River. Alternate names: Kamora, Kaokonau, Lakahia, Mimika, Mukamuga, Nafarpi, Nagramadu, Nefarpi, Neferipi, Umar, Umari. Dialects: Tarya, Yamur, Nanesa. 4 other dialects.

The Kamoro people wKamoro-02ork in fishing, marketing, sago-processing, and hunting along their coastal lands. The coastal and river dwellers can best be accessed by boat but some Kamoro people level at higher altitudes. They have traditionally been a semi-nomadic people.
Life in the Area
Many Kamoro people believe they don’t have a lot of goods because although their ancestors are sending goods for them, outsiders are intercepting the goods. Many Kamoro people now live in Etna Bay-government center. The main diet of the Kamoro people is sago and fish. The KAMORO people are known for their wooden canoe ornaments and houses for rituals. Individual clans look up to the clan leader. Both the Catholic Church in Indonesia and the Evangelical Christian Church in Irian J
aya have worship facilities in the language area.
Language Information and Use
The Kamoro are sometimes known as the MIMIKA, LAKAHIA, NAGRAMADU, UMARI, MUKAMUGA, NEFERIPI, NEFARPI, MASWENA, NAFA, KAOKONAU, or UMAR people. Tarya, Yamur, Nanesa are three Kamoro language dialects. The Kamoro people have regular contact with other coastal people. The KAMORO language is part of the Asmat-Kamoro language family.

Kehu  100  Islam

Wapoga River between Auye [auu] and Dao [nfa] in the foothills

Mer  300  Christian

Central Bird’s Head, Wosimi and Uremo river headwaters. Alternate names: Miere, Muri. Dialects: Lexical similarity: 63% with Semimi [etz], 61% with Mairasi [zrs].

Semimi  1.200  Christian

Bomberai Peninsula near Kaniran, south part of neck extending west to Triton Bay. Alternate names: Etna Bay, Muri, Wesrau. Dialects: Lexical similarity: 69% with Mairasi [zrs], 63% with Mer [mnu].

Sempan  1.400 Christian

Middle south coast, between Kokonao and Agats, east of Kamoro [kgq], west of Asmat languages. Alternate names: Nararapi. Dialects: Similar to Kamoro [kgq].

Tause  400  Christian

West Lakes Plain (Paniai), southwest of Danau Bira, Deraposi area, northeast of Fayu [fau], northwest of Edopi [dbf]. Alternate names: Darha, Doa. Dialects: Tause, Weirate, Deirate. Related to Fayu, Kirikiri [kiy].

Most TAUSE people are lowland hunters and gatherers. At an altitude of 100-500 meters above sea level the TAUSE people can best be accessed by airplane or river. There is an airstrip between Wapoga and Otodemo.
The people eat vegetables and hunt wild game. Conflicts are often resolved by fighting.



Tunggare  600  Christian

North central, west of Mamberamo River, east Geelvink Bay near Nabire, inland from Waropen [wrp]. Alternate names: Tarunggare, Turunggare. Dialects: Most closely related to Bauzi [bvz]. Lexical similarity: 70% with Bauzi, 75% with Burate [bti], 65% with Demisa [dei], 70% with Tefaro [tfo], 69% with Woria [wor].

The TUNGGARE people are coastal hunters and fisherman. At an altitude of less than 350 meters above sea level the TUNGGARE people can best be accessed by boat.
They are reported to have moved from the Nzina cave of the Sriwini river to Masipawa, then to Mirago/Mosairo and finally to their current Nabire beach area. Parties for first-born infants are called “bataterano”. Song festivals are called “saira”. Traditionally there is lots of food at funerals.
The TUNGGARE people’s diet consists of fish, sugarcane, coconut, sago, and pig. Houses generally have three 3 rooms (front, back, and guest) besides a porch.

Wano  7.800 Animism



Central highlands area, upper Rouffaer River basin north of Damal, northwest of Dem, south of Kirikiri, Iau and Duvele, east of Moni, west of Western Dani. Alternate names: Waano. Dialects: East, Central, West. Similar to Western Dani [dnw], Nggem [nbq], Walak [wlw]. Lexical similarity: 65% with Western Dani.

Waropen  8.100  Animism

South coast of Serui Island, East Cenderawasih Bay. Alternate names: Aropen, Wonti, Worpen. Dialects: Waropen Kai, Napan, Mo’or.

Wolani  6.100  Animism


West central highlands, Kemandoga and Mbiyandogo rivers, north of Ekari [ekg] northeast of Lake Paniai, north of Wissel Lakes and northwest of Moni [mnz]. Alternate names: Woda, Woda-Mo, Wodani.

Yaur  600  Animism

.Lower end of Cenderawasih Bay, west of Iresim. Alternate names: Jaur.


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