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The Real Human Muyu Tribe

by Senaman
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PAPUAN – The Muyu tribe is an indigenous Papuan tribe that lives and settles in Boven Digoel Regency, Papua, the ancestors of the Muyu tribe used to live in the area around the Muyu river which is located northeast of Merauke, the Muyu people also call themselves by the term Kati which means “A Real Human Being”.

The Muyu Tribe area is a hilly area with lots of gravel, Ikcan village in the north and Sesnuk village in the south have limited this area, in the east there is the territory of Papua New Guinea and Kunggembit village and in the west is limited by the Kao River. The Kao River is the territory of the Mandobo Tribe, by ownership most of the land in the Muyu Region belongs to Mandobo, for example in Mindiptanah District, the total population according to Mindiptanah and Waropko District data is approximately 10,000 people.

For the Muyu people, the family is the most important social and economic unit, with a kinship system in the form of a nuclear family consisting of a man with one or several wives and children. The Muyu people show the important role of the nuclear family from various forms of life, especially the issue of housing and control of land and property, they live in stilt houses made of wood and nibung leaves.

The Muyu people live by hunting, raising pigs and gardening, the Muyu believe in a supreme mystical power that creates animals, plants and rivers and they also believe that the spirits of the dead still make contact with the living.

The Muyu have a knowledge of numbers with a form of payment instrument called Ot and it is usually used as a dowry and exchange item in the pig party ceremony. Pig parties are held to find Ot as a reward from guests who come, crops and axes and arrows are traded with Ot, this economic system is quite advanced which ultimately motivates their actions.

In trading the Muyu tribe’s barter system is unique and effective until now, by exchanging goods two individuals exchange trust and establish relationships that are more than just “sellers and buyers”. This relationship as friends is what often makes them so close to each other and they also have a language system called the Muyu language, in the Muyu or Kati tribe there are a number of sub-tribes with their respective territories and there are nine of them, including:

  1. Kamindip sub-tribe,
  2. Okpari sub-tribe,
  3. Kakaib sub-tribe,
  4. Are sub-tribe,
  5. Kasaut subtribe,
  6. Jonggom subtribe,
  7. Ninggrum subtribe,
  8. Kawibtet subtribe,
  9. Kawiptet Subtribe.

The Muyu people were very few, and today the Muyu tribe has grown rapidly and the population is in the thousands. The Muyu are demographically located within a zone of mountain foothills and small valleys covering the Sentani, Nimboran and Ayamaru areas. The Muyu Onderafdeling is a narrow strip of land almost square, along the Papua New Guinea boundary and a transitional area between the flat lands of the coast and the central mountainous region, in the south the land is flat and near the Fly River there are extensive swamps.

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