West Papua tribes Vogelkop-Bird’s Head 29 Tribes

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

West Papua tribes

Vogelkop-Bird’s Head  29 Tribes

Bird's Head, Tribes, Vogelkop, abun, arandai, biak, hatam,kaburi, kais, kalabra, mankion, karon dori, kemberano, kokoda, konda, maibarat,meoswar, meyah, moi, moskona, moraid, mpur, puragi, roon, seget, suabo, tehit, wandamen, yahadian


Abun 3.500  Christian

Sorong Regency; Ayamaru, Sausapor, Moraid subdistricts; North coast and interior of central Bird’s Head, north and south of Tamberau ranges. About 20 villages. Alternate names: A Nden, Karon, Manif, Yimbun. Dialects: Abun Tat (Karon Pantai), Abun Ji (Madik), Abun Je.

Arandai 1.400 Christian

Manokwari Regency, Bintuni subdistrict, South Bird’s Head, east and west of Wariaga River, Sebyar (Timoforo) River area. Alternate names: Dombano, Jaban, Sebyar, Sumuri, Yaban. Dialects: Kemberano (Tomu), Dombano (Arandai). Related to Kais [kzm]. Lexical similarity: 71% between the Kemberano and Dombano dialects.

Biak 33.000 Christian

Biak and Numfor Islands north, numerous small islands east and west of Bird’s Head, including Mapia Island. Biak Numfor Kabupaten. Alternate names: Biak-NumBiak_tonemfor, Mafoor, Mafoorsch, Mefoor, Myfoorsch, Noefoor, Noefoorsch, Nufoor. Dialects: Ariom, Bo’o, Dwar, Fairi, Jenures, Korim, Mandusir, Mofu, Opif, Padoa, Penasifu, Samberi, Sampori (Mokmer), Sor, Sorendidori, Sundei, Wari, Wadibu, Sorido, Bosnik, Korido, Warsa, Wardo, Kamer, Mapia, Mios Num, Rumberpon, Monoarfu, Vogelkop. Some consider Biak and Numfor dialect 2 languages.

Dusner 6


Name: Emma Somesa
Age: 85
Current address: Dusner Village
Emma is the oldest speaker of Dusner. She speaks Dusner and Wandamen fluently, and also speaks Indonesian. We communicate with her through interpreters who speak Indonesian and Wandamen.

Wandamen Bay area, west coast of Cenderawasih Bay, Dusner town area. 1 village. Alternate names: Dusnir. 

Hatam 19.000 Christian

 Regency; Warmare, Ransiki and Oransbari subdistricts. East Bird’s Head, northeast of Manikion, south and southwest of Manokwari. Alternate names: Adihup, Atam, Borai, Hattam, Mansim, Miriei, Moi, Tinam, Uran. Dialects: Moi (Moire), Tinam, Miriei, Adihup, Uran.

Kaburi 800 Christian

Manokwari Regency, Merdei and Inanwatan subdistricts, south Bird’s Head, north of Kokoda and Fakfak, east of Kemberano [bzp] and Arandai [jbj].

Kais 300 Christian

Lakes Plain area around Kaiy airstrip on lower Rouffaer River, Kaiy and Kokou villages. Alternate names: Kai, Taori-Kaiy, Taori-Kei, Todi. Dialects: Lexical similarity: 69% with Biritai [bqq].

Kalabra Tribe 3.600 Christian

West Bird’s Head, south of Madik [kgr] language, east of Moi [msf]. Alternate names: Beraur. Dialects: Most similar to Tehit [kps]. Lexical similarity: 60% with Tehit.

Most of the Kalabra folks fish along their coastal homeland. At an altitude of less than 100 meters above sea level the Kalabra people can best be accessed by boat. The trip to Kalabra land is at least a 2 hour trip by motorized canoe from Klamono and a taxi can also be hired from there.
Life in the Area
Kalabra people eat sago and fish a lot. Families will often times build a small dwelling on top of a canoe to accommodate them as a second home when they are out of the village. There is electricity, but only in Klamono.
Language Information and Use
The Kalabra are sometimes known as the Beraur people but they prefer to be called Kalabra. One of the Kalabra dialects is called Kalabra Salmit.

Karon Duri 6.800 Christian

Central Bird’s Head north of Brat, Pef, Asses, Sunopi, Siakwa villages. Alternate names: Maiyach, Mari, Meon. Dialects: Similar to Mai Brat [ayz].

kemberano 2.000  Christian

South Bird’s Head coast, east of Komundan River, south of Arandai [jbj]; northwest Bomberai Peninsula, south from Kalitami across Bintuni Bay, several villages. Alternate names: Arandai, Barau, Kalitami, Wariagar. Dialects: Barau, Weriagar. Lexical similarity: 85% with Arandai [jbj], 60% with Kokoda [xod].

Kokoda 4.600 Christian

Bird’s Head, south coast on Maccluer Gulf, east of Inanwatan. Alternate names: Kasuweri, Komudago, Nebes, Oderago, Samalek, Tarof. Dialects: Kasuweri (Komudago), Negri Besar (Negeri Besar), Tarof. Wurm and Hattori (1981) list Kasuweri and Tarof as separate languages. Komudago and Tarof dialects are most similar. Lexical similarity: 60% with Kemberano [bzp]; Kasuweri dialect 86% with Tarof dialect; Negri Besar 82% with Tarof.

konda 700 Christian

Southwest Bird’s Head, Teminabuan subdistrict, lower Waromge River south of Teminabuan, Konda village. Alternate names: Ogit, Yabin, Yabin-Konda. Dialects: Lexical similarity: 61% with Yahadian [ner].

Mai Barat 27.000  Animism

Central Bird’s Head around Ayamaru Lakes. About 40 villages. Alternate names: Ajamaru, Atinjo, Ayamaru, Brat, Maibrat, Maite, Majbrat, Maybrat, Mey Brat. Dialects: Maisawiet, Maiyah, Maimaka, Maite, Maisefa. Lexical similarity: 10% with Tehit [kps], Mpur [akc], Abun [kgr], its most similar neighbors.

Meoswar 300 Animism

Meoswar Island, west Cenderawasih Bay. Alternate names: War.

Meyah  21.000  Christian

East Bird’s Head, north coast, west of Manokwari, north of Hattam [had]; scattered. Alternate names: Arfak, Mansibaber, Meah, Meax, Mejach, Mejah, Meyach. Dialects: Most similar to Manikion [mnx].

Moi 5.600  Christian

Salawati Island, west Bird’s Head around Sorong. 9 villages. Alternate names: Mekwei, Mooi, Mosana. Dialects: Mosemah. moi

Moskona  9.300  Christian

Southeast Bird’s Head, south of Meyah, west of Manikion. Alternate names: Meninggo, Meningo, Meyah, Sabena. Dialects: Lexical similarity: 85% with Meyah [mej]. Also related to Manikion [mnx].

Mpur  8.500  Christian

North coast of Bird’s Head, west of Manokwari, and Kebar Valley. Alternate names: Amberbaken, Dekwambre, Ekware, Kebar. Dialects: Sirir, Ajiw.

Onin 600   Animism

North and northwest Bomberai Peninsula. Alternate names: Onim, Sepa. Dialects: Nikuda, Ogar, Patipi, Sepa.

Puragi  900  Christian


Southwest Bird’s Head along Maccluer Gulf, inland Matamani River area. Alternate names: Mogao.

Roon  1.300   Animism

Roon Island west of Cenderawasih Bay, north of Wandamen Peninsula. Alternate names: Ron.

Seget 1.600  Christian

West Bird’s Head southwest of Sorong, west and southwest of Moi [mxn], Walian, Sailolof, Segum, Seget villages.

Suabo  2.100  Christian

South Bird’s Head along Maccluer Gulf. 15 villages. Alternate names: Iagu, Inanwatan, Mirabo, Suabau. Dialects: Most similar to Duriankere [dbn].

Tehit  11.000  Christian

500 monolinguals. Southwest Bird’s Head, Regency Sorong, most of Teminabuan subdistrict, half of Sawiat subdistrict. About 31 villages. AlteTehit_tonemappedrnate names: Kaibus, Tahit, Tehid, Teminabuan. Dialects: Tehit Jit, Mbol Fle, Saifi, Imyan, Sfa Riere, Fkar, Sawiat Salmeit. Most similar to Kalabra [kzz]. Lexical similarity: 60% with Kalabra.

Wandamen  6.100  Christian



Wasior, Manokwari, west Cenderawasih Bay along Wandamen Bay extending west to east end of Bintuni Bay. Alternate names: Bentoeni, Bentuni, Bintuni, Wamesa, Wandamen-Windesi, Windesi, Windessi. Dialects: Windesi, Bintuni, Wamesa, Wasior, Ambumi, Dasener, Aibondeni, Steenkool, Waruritinao.

Yahadian  600  Christian

South Bird’s Head, along Maccluer Gulf between lower Mintamani and Sekak rivers. Alternate names: Jahadian, Nerigo, Yabin Yahadian. Dialects: Lexical similarity: 60% with Konda [knd].


Tags: , , , ,


If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed

Leave a Reply