East Papua Korowai and Kombai Tree Tribe

Written by on October 1, 2010 in Papuan Tribes with 0 Comments


Papua Korowai and Kombai Tree Tribe

The Korowai tribe are direct neighbours of the Asmat and live north of the Dairam Kabiur. Their habitat is limited by two large rivers and the mountains in the north. Their swampy area is approximately 600 km² bid. In this difficult area are living up to 2500 Korowai together in small family groups. The Korowai are hunters and collectors. They nourish themselves mainly with Sago which they won from Sago palms. They refer their main protein food from the larvae of the Capricorn beetle. The huntable animals represent their further base of live. There are wild pigs; Casuar birds; birds; snakes; and small insects. Vegetable food is also very important for them. Especially palm leaves, fern, breadfruit and the red pandanae fruit.

The Korowai live together in small family groups in tree houses. These tree houses can reach heights up to 50 meters. The Korowai build such kind of tree houses only if there is a dispute with the neighbours, or if they live in an hostile area. Their normal tree houses are around 6 to 25 Meters high. A Korowai family with up to eight persons live in such kind of houses. But there is a strictly separatism between men and women. Their material culture is exclusively limited to indispensable things of daily live as well as decoration articles for the body.

Particularly to call the still common stone axe, bone knifes as well as the grave stick to remove the hard skin from a Sago Tree and the wooden Sago hammer. For the decoration of the body we have to name the bones from the wings of a flying fox. The Korowai women place this in the nose. Also the necklace from dog´s tooth are really important for them. The mother give these necklaces to the daughter and this is still in use. The men use necklaces from pig´s tooth. The women use only a small skirt made from tree skin and Sago fibres. The men use only a leaf around the penis. Some groups have just the half of a nut around the penis. Around the chest you can see also some rotanings. Without their net the women never move out of the tree house. The men never move out without bow and arrows.

Cannibalism is still believed to take place, though rarely, among the Kombai and only ever in the context of kakhua – male witches, who in the Kombai’s belief, are responsible for the deaths of many tribal members. Those accused of being witches are said to be killed, baked and eaten in the belief that the practice will free the spirit of the victim killed by the male witch.

Duration : 10 days / 09 nights
Grade : easy – moderate
Start / end : Jayapura airport / Jayapura airport
Arrival at Jayapura airport, then transfer to hotel about 1/2 hrs from the airport.
Depart by flight to Wamena. On arrive at Wamena airport, transfer to your hotel, then proceed to visiting Dani villages and scenery from Napua hill, drive down to the town for having lunch. The rest of the day visit local market and surrounding. Back to your hotel for dinner and overnight stay.
Depart by charter flight to Yaniruma. The flight usually need about 45 minutes one way. Upon arrival at Yaniruma, we will need to report ot the local chief and organize our porters. Today we have one full day to explore the small village and the local life in Yaniruma. The local peoples usually all come to greet us on our arrival. Overnight at missionary house.
Begin the trekking with our porters to the hinterland of Koroway. We will need to cross the big Dairam river using the dug our conoe. Upon arrival at the river side, walk to Dayo village. Dayo is a small village to the north of Dairam riverside. Overnight in shelters.
We begin our 4 – 5 hours trek per day pssing through the swamps, sometimes walk over the log or fallen tree and crossing the river with or without bridge. This is the topic rain forest in the vast-green lowland of South Irian Jaya or Papua, there are many exotic things to be discovered and experienced but with a great deal with mosquito, swamp, heat and high humidity (85 – 100%). Our trek in the forest will support by our local porter who carry our bags or gears and will love to help you to do some difficult section of the trip when you need. we arrive in Dambol in the noon, and will meet the first Korowai family on their tree house. Korowai is a nomad people who always move from one place to another at least once every 3 years. They were not live in large group, that at every location of the tree house we only see 2-4 tree house built side by side. The Korowai also a great hunter who hunted pig, Cus-Cus, birds most of their time in life. After we met the Korowai and family on their tree house, we may interact with them help by our guide and experience their life. Overnight at our tent or at shelter we build near the tree house soon after we arrive.
Trekking back to Yaniruma. Overnight missionary house.
Return to the civilization. Depart by chartered flight to wamena and then by the scheduled flight to Jayapura.

Korowai, Kombai, Tree, Tribe, Papua

Korowai, Kombai, Tree, Tribe, PapuaKorowai, Kombai, Tree, Tribe, Papua

Korowai, Kombai, Tree, Tribe, PapuaKorowai, Kombai, Tree, Tribe, PapuaKorowai, Kombai, Tree, Tribe, Papua


18 Days itinerary
Day 1 We will fly from Bali to Jayapura.
Get our surat jalan and spend the night at a hotel in Sentani (close to the airport).
Day 2 We will fly on Merpati airlines to Merauke.
This city is in the southeast corner of Papua. Along the Papua New Guinea border. We’ll over night in a hotel.
Day 3 We will fly on Merpati airlines to Senggo.
Senggo is a settlement on a large river.
We will get our necessary supplies there and overnight in Senggo.
Day 4 We will travel by boat with a motor up river.
We will have to travel upstream for one full day. This is the same river that if you continue north will take you to Yanirumah.
But, we will not travel up that far.
Instead we will stop at a small village on the river and spend the night there.
Day 5 We will get our porters and set out for the jungle.
There are several villages in the interior that have not been contacted by the outside.
No tourists have ever visited these Korowai people. And their body decoration is slightly different from the Korowai people to the north. We will camp at one of their villages.
Days 6,7,8,9,10,11,12
We will spend these 7 days trekking is some of the most pristine lowland rain-forest in the world. Along the way we will stay with the various Korowai that inhabit the region. We will try and make camp each day by a tree house and sometimes we will spend 2 nights at one tree house. The Korowai usually live in isolated tree houses. Sometimes 2-3 families will live in one tree house. These tree houses are usually 2-6 hours of walking apart. And the tree houses range in height from 8-12 meters high.
And some even higher.
The area within the Korowai that we will visit are still living a stone age existence. They still use only stone and bone tools. And they still do practice cannibalism in the Korowai area. Don’t worry they won’t kill and eat us. It is ritual cannibalism among themselves and we are outsiders, so there is nothing to worry about.
We will make camp by their tree houses and also be able to witness them in their everyday lives. They will look for sago trees to fell and get the pith out of to eat. We will experience this with them. They will gather sago grubs (which they are crazy about) and eat them. And we can watch as they build fish traps and try and catch small fish from the streams. And the amazing thing about all of this is that they use nothing from the outside world. Everything is made of plants, vines and tree bark.
Really, these are some of the only real “stone age” people left in the world.
And I have to tell you that every time I go into the Kombai and Korowai area,
I am deeply touched.
I have high quality rain proof North Face and Kelty tents to sleep in and Therma-Rest ground pads that are very comfortable to sleep on.
Porters will carry all of your equipment.
All you will need to carry (if you want) is your day pack with camera and water bottle.
Day 13 We will trek back to the village by the river.
We will overnight there and in the morning we will head down river to Senggo.
Day 14 We will travel by motorized canoe down to Senggo.
We will overnight in Senggo.
Day 15 We will travel down river in a motorized canoe to a village
and spend the night at an Asmat village. We will visit with the men in the Jeu (mens house). And we’ll spend the evening enjoying the men singing, drumming and dancing inside the Jeu.
Day 16 We will continue traveling down river in a motorized canoe
and spend the night in Agats. This is the biggest town in the Asmat area. We will overnight in a guest house in Agats.
Day 17 We will travel by motorized canoe to the airport in Ewer
It is about 1 hour from Agats. From Ewer we will catch a Merpati plane to Timika.
We will spend the night at a hotel in Timika.
Day 18 We will catch a flight back to Bali on Garuda airlines.
And we will arrive in Bali at 2:10pm. This will conclude the tour.
2 persons:
$US 6700 per person .
3 persons:
$US 4950 per person .
4 persons:
$US 4200 per person .
5 persons:
$US 3750 per person .
6 persons:
$US 3500 per person .

Asmat Korowai Adventures 12D/11N

Tour Itenary :
Day 01 Timika Arrival.
Arrive Timika airport, transfer to Pomako to get boat departure to Puriri fishing island, overnight stay at fishermen house in Puriri. (will take 3,5hours).
Day 02 Puruiri-Agats.
Early get on motorized boat to Agats-Asmat district. Arrive Agats transfer to Padaelo hotel for overnight stay. Rest of day visiting Asmat museum and Agats surroundings. (trip will be 8-9hours)Day 03 Agats-Senggo.
Early transfer by motorized boat to Senggo, a short stop will be made in Asmat village for having lunch then continue your boat trip to Senggo. Arrive Senggo check in at simple accommodation in Senggo for overnight stay. (trip will be 8-9hours).
Day 04 Senggo-Basman.
Morning transfer by motorized boat to Basman on the way passing through Citak-mitak area. Trip today will take about 7-8hours arrive at Basman-the boarder place for Koroway and Citak-mitak tribes. Overnight stay at local house.
Day 05 Senggo-Basman.
Morning transfer by motorized boat to Basman on the way passing through Citak-mitak area. Trip today will take about 7-8hours arrive at Basman-the boarder place for Koroway and Citak-mitak tribes. Overnight stay at local house.
Day 06 Basman – Koroway.
By trekking all together with porters will expend 4-5hours to reach Koroway clan. Arrive Koroway you will learn how life style of the native and join them to make animal trap such wild pig, kasowari and hunting. Overnight stay at tree house or camp.
Day 07 Koroway-Basman-Citak.
Today you will join them to collect food from sago grab by traditional process and join the woman how they catching fish from the stream by using weaved basket from sago leaf then trek back to Basman. Arrive Basman directly get on boat departure to Binerbis-citak village for overnight stay at chief house. Trip today will be 3-4hours.
Day 08 Citak-Senggo.
Early transfer by motorized boat departure to Senggo. Arrive Senggo overnight stay at Simple accommodation. Trip today will be 4-5hours.
Day 09 Senggo-Asmat village.
Departure to Asmat village to learn Asmat life style, one night stay in the village. Trip today will be 5 hours.
Day 10 Asmat ceremony
Today you will enjoy the Asmat ceremony and dancing on paddling boat, to see men on Asmat craft, a temporary market will also be held in the village to sell kind of artifact and ornamentations for necessary home gift.
Day 11 Asmat village-Agats.
Transfer by motorized boat to Agats, overnight stay at Padaelo hotel. Trip will take 5h.
Day 12 Agats-Timika
Early transfer by boat to Ewer strip for catching flight by Twin departure to Timika. Arrive Timika direct transfer by car to hotel for overnight stay.
Day 13 Timika – departure.
Transfer to the airport for your departure flight to the next destination. End of services, ………………

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