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WAHAM “Papua Javelin Throwing that Sharpens the Dexterity of Young People”

by Senaman
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Papua as one of the provinces in Indonesia is famous for being an area that produces skilled hunters and fishermen. Natural conditions consisting of lush forests and coastlines make the Papuan people skilled in this field. One method used by the Papuan people when hunting or fishing is by throwing spears or javelins. It turns out, this method has been taught from an early age for children. There are sports that are packaged as traditional games from Papua and mostly Papuan called “HAWAM”. This game is more or less technically the same as the game or sport of javelin throwing. Hawam comes from the Baham tribe who live in Fakfak Regency, West Papua Province. This game of javelin throwing has been passed down from generation to generation. The procedure for playing is the same as javelin throwing, starting from preparing a javelin or spear that is 1.5 meters to 2 meters long with the tip made sharp so that it can stick into the intended target.

There are two types of targets, by moving targets to stationary targets. For children who are still beginners, first play Hawam with a non-moving target such as a banana tree or make their own dots. Then, as they get older after practicing haham with a stationary target, they are introduced to a target that moves like an animal. The goal is of course to train your dexterity in carrying out animal hunting activities. Some of the animals that are hunted include fish, birds, and other game such as deer or pigs.



The reason why Hawam still exists today is because hunting activities are still routinely carried out by people in Papua to meet their living needs. Even though the modern era has made everything easier, including meeting life’s needs, hunting is still the main activity for some people in Papua. Because of the importance of this hunting activity, children are still studying Hawam so that they can quickly become proficient and when they grow up they can become accomplished hunters. In fact, it does not rule out the possibility that someone who is skilled and has a level of dexterity above average, is able to take part in javelin throwing competitions at various levels and become an athlete. Of course, this possibility is wide open because Hawam and javelin throwing don’t have much difference.

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