Wednesday, 2 May 2018

INDONESIA: Visit Waigeo Island Meet The Korowai And Kombai People Who Live High Up

Waigeo is an island in West Papua province of eastern Indonesia.

The island is also known as Amberi, or Waigiu. It is the largest of the four main islands in the Raja Ampat Islands archipelago, between Halmahera and about 65 kilometres (40 miles) to the north-west coast of New Guinea.

The Dampier Strait or Augusta's Strait separates it from Batanta, and the Bougainville Strait from the Kawe Islands to its north-west.

The inner sea that nearly cleaves the island in two is the Majoli Gulf.

The area of the island is 3,155 square kilometres (1,218 square miles); the highest elevations are 958-metre-high (3,143-foot) Buffalo Horn (Gunung Nok) and 939-metre-high (3,081-foot) Serodjil

From west to east the island measures approximately 110 km, north-south about 50 kilometres (31 miles).

The town of Waisai in the west of the island is the capital of the Raja Ampat regency. Languages spoken on Waigeo include Papuan Malay, Biak, Ma'ya, and Ambel.

Jorge de Menezes, a Portuguese explorer, landed on Waigeo Island in 1526-27.

Alfred Russel Wallace spent some time on the island and studied the flora and fauna during the late 1850s while on his scientific exploration trip.

Since 1997, the island has been the site of a substantial pearl farming operation owned by the Australian company Atlas Pacific

Raja Ampat Regency is part of West Papua and it is the home of beautiful islands. Many tourists even consider it a paradise.

When it comes to visiting stunning isles, one of the most popular ones is Waigeo. For some people, the name sounds unfamiliar, but the island has been visited by tons of travelers.

These include the foreigners, in fact. Waiego Island becomes tourists’ favorite among the other islands like Salawati, Batanta, and Misool.

All of them become the prime tourist destinations when visiting Raja Ampat.

The fact is that Waigeo is the biggest island, as compared to the others. The size is about 3155 km2 and it features various types of landscapes.

In the shoreline, tourists are able to find beautiful beaches with its white sand. Not to mention the seawater is crystal clear.

The island is also covered by dense trees, creating a comfortable nuance for tourists.

Another important thing is the region, as the island is divided into different regions based on the location. These include North, South, West, and East Waigeo.

Most tourists come to Waigeo Island for its stunning beach. That means snorkeling and diving become prime activities there.

According to the locals, there are about a thousand of fish species living in the sea.

Not to mention the corals are quite mesmerizing. Apart from visiting the beaches, tourists should visit the whole part of the island.

First, it is the North Waigeo. It is known for its Suling Tambur, which is the local art performance. The locals often perform it during special events like religious holidays, Indonesia’s Independence Day, etc.

The next destination is South Waigeo, which is famous for its diving spots.

One of the best locations for diving is called Kabui Cape. That location features karst islets and caves, on which visitors can explore. There is even an ancient skull, situated in that location.

For further activities, there is birdwatching in Sawinggrai and enjoying beautiful sea scenery in Sawandarek Beach. Not to mention the island features some local settlements, offering entertaining traditions to visitors.

Next, it is West Waigeo. In this region, tourists can explore Wayag Island, which is famous for its Karst landscape.

That region is also famous for its jaw-dropping nature scenery. What about East Waigeo?

The most interesting attraction is the local dances and the nature phenomenon called Hantu Laut.

This is available in Urbinasopen Village and becomes the prime lure of West Waigeo. In a nutshell, exploring Waigeo Island is quite tiring due to its size.

Still, it is a worthy effort as tourists have many options of attractions and fun activities to do there.

Nearby Attractions

- Waisai City

- Mansuar Island

- Kawe Island

The prime destination is either Sorong or Waisai City. The first option is considered the most popular, though.

For those who come from Jakarta, an airplane is the best transportation choice and the destination is Domine Eduard Osok Airport, which is located in Sorong City.

As an alternative, they can take an airplane and reach Marinda Airport in Waisai City. From there, they can take a ferry or speedboat to Waigeo Island.

No café or restaurant in the village specially built ini. Warung available only provides snacks and instant noodles that can be ordered and cooked directly by mothers who keep warung.

Tempat, to eat this dish was done in a large bed made under the tree coconut, directly overlooking the sea lepas.

Anggaplah is a themed café, and pleasure iss not much different from sitting in an expensive cafe.

In Waisai, food stalls and small restaurants were encountered. Restaurant fields and rice packets such as fried chicken Lamongan can also be found there.

Accomodations in Waigeo Island

- Waigeo Villa

- Waiwo Dive Resort

- Cottage Water Waigeo

- Warimpurem Homestay, Near Waisai.

- Yenkangkanes Homestay Near Waisai.

- Raja Ampat Dive Resort, Near Waisai. Raja Ampat Dive Resort is located on the edge of the world famous Dampier straits on the South of Waigeo Island – the largest of the Islands in the park.

This is a vast area of the equatorial Pacific Ocean known as the Coral Triangle which holds the title for being the heart of the world’s greatest coral reef biodiversity – including 75 percent of all known coral species on Earth.

- Prajas Homestay, West Waigeo.

- Sea Fans Homestay, West Waigeo.

- Waryawer Homestay, West Waigeo.

- Yengkawe, Waigeo.

Tanjung Kasuari beach is located in Sorong city, West Papua. This tourism object is becomes one of the most visited tourism objects in Sorong and it has been visited almost everyday.

It located around 7Km from down town of Sorong city, and it can be reach by using private vehicle or public transportation.

The nuance in this beach is windy and it has white sandy path along the beach, the clear water and coconut trees along the area. It so refreshing and tropical alike. Moreover, the visitors can enjoy the sunset at noon.

Nusrowi Island is located on the west of Rumberpon island, Wondama Bay district.

This small island has an area of approximately 4 hectares and surrounded by shallow waters and filled with coral reefs and many species of ornamental fish.

You can also see other marine commodities like grouper, sea cucumbers and lobsters.

In this place you can do your favorite activities such as diving, coral reef observations and fishing; to get to this place from Ransiki to a location, we can use a longboat which takes about 1.5 hours.

Fak Fak district is famous for the agriculture plant of nutmeg, which make this city known as Kota Pala or the city of nutmeg. Fakfak regency is one of the oldest cities in Papua, with a high civilization.

Historically Fakfak was a significant port town, being one of the few Papuan towns that had relations with the Sultanate of Ternate, being bound to it.

The Sultanate later granted the Dutch colonial government permission to settle in Papua, including in Fakfak. The Dutch began the settlement in 1898. The town still has some colonial buildings remaining from that settlement.

Fakfak is located in West Papua, Indonesia, on the Bomberai Peninsula near Tambaruni Bay. It is situated in an area with many limestone hills, rivers and caves.

As such, the streets are twist and turn. Fakfak has a small community of Muslim Arab and Indian Indonesians, who is the descended from traders who came to Papua in the 19th century.

However, due to Fakfak’s diminishing role as a port town the population has decreased.

Fak Fak is a very remote area located in south-east of Raja Ampat in Irian Jaya (West Papua), and is famous for its record breaking marine bio-diversity.

The water here is so nutrient rich and there are millions of amazing life habitation inside. There always new species of fish and corals are being discovered all the time.

Korowai And Kombai People West Papua is more surprises than we expected, After Asmat people and The Dani, there are still any other tribe that we can review the uniqueness and the the way they are living among the society.

Koroway and Kombai people, are the indigenous tribe who live in Southeastern Papua, Irian Jaya, Indonesia.

They are different tribe, but they have similar way of living. Those tribes are living in the same way, which in up to the top of the trees.
The Korowai and Kombai live in tree houses usually built between six and 25 metres above ground but they can be as high as 50 meters in times of tribal conflict.

The purposes to build that such house are to avoid some animal attacks from the jungle, to avoid the flood during the raining season, and to be a post guard during the conflict that may occur.

The Korowai, they are sometimes being called as Kolufo. The majority Korowai Clans are live in tree houses as their territory, but since 1980 they were move into some villages in Yanimaru at the Becking River banks, Mu and Mbasman

The Korowai are the expert hunter-gatherers and horticulturalists who practice shifting cultivation. They have excellent hunting and fishing skills for gaining necessary protein and to survive in their life fulfilling their needs.

The leadership structures within The Korowai are based on personal qualities of strong men rather than on institution.

The interclan warfare occurs mainly because of witchcraft and sorcery-related conflicts. Within the framework of punishing those who committed witchcraft a certain type of cannibal justice is found.

Ralating the Korowai religion, it is mentioned that they have more spirits regarding the animism ancestors believes.

They also sometimes held a ceremony of Sago festival to stimulate prosperity and fertility in a ritual fashion.

The Korowai have an extraordinary and rich oral tradition like myths, folktales, magical sayings and charms, and totem traditions.

Moreover, with respect to death and afterlife the Korowai believe in the existence of a reciprocal type of reincarnation.

The Korowai have been reported to practice ritual cannibalism up to the present day, but it is mentioned that the practice of cannibalism were implemented in matter of judgment, as their traditional criminal justice system.

For those who were considered as shaman or psychics were killed and eaten by the people for offering.

The Korowai are one of the few Papuan tribes who do not wear kotekas. The men of this tribe have their penises pushed into the scrotum, and on the skin which sticks out, they tightly tie a green leaf.

On Korowai Batu they use nutshells instead of leaves, and the women wear short skirts made of sago palm phloem, which is also their main food.

For the decoration of the body we have to name the bones from the wings of a flying fox. The Korowai’s women place this in the nose.

Also the necklace from dog´s tooth are really important for them. The mother gives these necklaces to the daughter and this is still in use. The men use necklaces from pig´s tooth.

The Kombai, as well as The Korowai, they also live in the tree houses up to 20 meters high and have some similar cultural practices with The Korowai, but speak a different language.

For Kombai, pigs are used as currency, also if the wife of Kombai man were to die, the family of the woman may demand pigs as compensation.

For Kombai men to marry, they first have to buy the woman from her family with necklaces made from dogs teeth.

The Kombai generally live in clans, with each clan are living in a large tree house, even the most activities are done outside.

Each clan guards its tree house and territory with bows and arrows. In certain areas of the forest, no clans build tree houses or occupy it, as these places are reserved for the spirits.

For food, the Kombai hunt pigs and other forest animals, fish, eat the larvae of beetles and plants, and eat Sago from Sago palms. The Kombai often use small dogs to help track down and kill animals.

Before converting to Christianity, The Kombai were the same as The Korowai, they have spirits to believe.

Pigs are the most important creature and the most sacred animal that play a role within their beliefs.

The pigs are always used as offering. The Kombai believe in evil spirits called Suangi, which eat the blood or internal organs of their victims and then stuff the bodies with leaves and grass and also to devour the person’s soul.

The Kombai also believe in Khakhua-Kumu, evil men who consume the souls of their victims, and must be killed or eaten in return.

The Kombai men mostly wear a beak from big bird instead of a koteka on their penises. Their menacing look is intensified by long necklaces made of dog teeth, and they rarely lay their bows and arrows aside.

The heads of the arrows are often made of bones. The women walk half naked, only in short skirts made of sago.

In conclusion, both Koroway and Kombai are typically the same but the have their own way of thoughts and their own wisdom to make their own way of living.

The Korowai, also called the Kolufo, are the people who live in southeastern West Papua in the Indonesian Province of Papua, close to the border with Papua New Guinea. They number about 3,000.

It is possible that the Korowai were unaware of the existence of any people besides themselves, before outsiders made contact with them in 1970.

The Korowai language belongs to the Awyu–Dumut family of southeastern Papua and is part of the Trans–New Guinea phylum. A dictionary and grammar book have been produced by a Dutch missionary linguist.


Tourism Observer
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