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KOROWAI “Native Papuan Tribe Who Lives in a Tree Houses”

by Senaman
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Talk about paradise from east of Indonesia, We must know about various tribes there. Papua has riches not only in the natural sector. One of Papua’s riches is the cultural diversity that exists there. The type of cultures in Papua is directly proportional to the number of native tribes that still live there. Each tribe has its own culture and social life, especially for tribes that still live in land forest areas.

The Korowai tribe is a native tribe from Papua that still has high values for beauty. They still live in the forest, untouched by today’s technology, and even live in tree houses. The reason why the Korowai tribe lives in tree houses is because of a tradition that has been passed down from one generation to another. The values they hold about socializing with family, society, and surviving threats made them decide to build tree houses and live in it. Life in the forest certainly has risks, especially at night regarding the threat of wild animals. The tree house is a safe refuge for the Korowai tribe to avoid these threats. Apart from that, the belief passed down is that at night, the Korowai tribe believes that the tree house they live in will ward off the threat of demons who come from their dead family members who wander around looking for their living family. 

The Korowai tribe’s beliefs in supernatural things and ancestral spirits allow them to survive in natural conditions untouched by developments over time. To survive, they rely on hunting to obtain foodstuffs. Because they live in a tree house, they inevitably have to live on the move because the tree house doesn’t last long. However, the Korowai tribe for sure believe in the spirits of their ancestors, so they often carry out rituals in various activities that they consider important, such as wedding ceremonies and spirit worship services.

The Korowai tribe, in their efforts to maintain their beliefs and ask for protection for the spirits of their ancestors, has done many things which actually help preserve nature in Papua. There have been conflicts that have occurred, namely the hunting of Gaharu by outside parties because they are considered to have high economic value. The Korowai tribe tries hard to ward off outsiders because they consider the Gaharu to have noble and mystical value related to their belief in the spirits of their ancestors so it needs to be protected and preserved. However, the Korowai tribe also has other social values that are adhered to, especially in relation to other tribes, they uphold mutual respect so that they will not touch the territorial boundaries of other tribes even though they live nomadic.

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