West Papua

Korowai Tribe Adventure

  • 8 Days
  • Tribes
  • Challenging

Koroway is among the most unique tribes we found so far in Irian Jaya. They are living high up on the trees which they built on the tree trunks. A tree house will be remain to be used for about 3 years, or till the tree is easten by the termites. Once the tree house is eaten, they will search for the new tree to live on. A tree house is made of wood and tree bark, plus some bamboo and sagoo leaves for the roof. The house can be about 10 m, or 20 m or higher from the ground level.

A so called village in Koroway usually consist of 2 or 3 houses only, seldome more. As they are semi-nomadic peoples, we might be unable to find a village on the same site few years after our visit.

Although they are semi-nomadic peoples, but they also do gardening. Banana is among the famous plant for them, and occasionally, they also plant some pine apple. Food gathering is the daily activity for the Koroway popleas. Men are carrying arc and bow to hunt birds, wild boar, and other faunas, sometimes they do fishing and collecting the sagoo worm. While the women are working on the sagoo processing, taking the starch of the sagoo and takle it home. Main foodstaple is the sagoo with some supplement such as fish or sagoo worm. But if the found no supplement, there will be sagoo only which is roasted on the fire.

Arrival at Jakarta airport by an afternoon flight. Stay at hotel near the airport building.
At app 19.30, you check out from the hotel, then fly to Jayapura.
Arrival by morning flight at Jayapura. Then, fly by noon flight to Dekai, a small size town in the hinterland of Papua. It takes us about 40 minutes flight. Dekai is a new developed village to a small size town, after the recent self autonomy policy in Papua. Roads, government offices, etc are started to build. Arrival in Dekai, then check in to the small hotel in Dekai.. Dekai is the home of the Manimo tribe, a tribe which is quite modern now.
Transfer by motorcycle to the small traditional harbor on Lopon village, about 1 hour of rough ride along the unpaved road. From Lopon, we will sail down to the south to Braza river, one of the largest river flowing to the south joining other river to Asmat area. All the way you will see the dense forest, peaceful surrounding, sometimes encounter the other passing by boats. On the way we may stop at the small villages which are belong to Citak Mitak tribe. This tribe built their houses on the riverside make of wood shape, with grass roof. In the past 1980’s the tribe were still naked, however, the opening of the access to their village has changed their way of clothing. Now they wear short pants, but mostly wearing no shirt. There are 2 or 3 small villages. Most of them still work as food gather, such as fishing and hunting animals. We will sail down to the south to a midsize village called Mabu. 8 - 9 hours required from this boat ride.
Breakfast at the local house, then together with our local Papua porter, walk to the village of Sendik a small village with 2 tree houses (at the moment, may change in the future). We will be walking along the muddy and partly wet tail from Mabul to Sendik for about 5 hours walk. The trail today is the main access for the local Korowai to the outside world. The trail is covered by the thick canopy of the rainforest, which the locals use as the place to hunt and make semi nomadic farming.
We spend the day at Sendik Village, a good moment to comprehend the locals daily habits. We may see how they work in their garden, how they cook their food, take care of their children, etc. they are still semi nomadic, sometimes they go deep into the jungle to search for food. They collect young sprout, fruits from the jungle, and hunting animals too. When they go for hunting, they will take their family along.  Koroway food staple are mostly sago which is supplemented with the “jungle vegetable, or insects, or else. Thy wrap those food in the leaves, and cook them on the fire.  You may also try their food which is taken from the jungle.
We do the same trek, the same way back from Sendik to Mabu. Arrival in Mabu in the afternoon.
Walk to the riverbank, then sail up to Lokbon, a 9 hours boat ride. We will be sailing upriver through the great Sirez and Braza river. In dry season, we may need longer time, as we have to be carefully of the fallen log into the river, and sometimes, we have to assist the boatmen to move the boat when the water level is low. Arrival in Lokbon, then proceed by simple car to hotel in Dekai.
Back to the civilization, by flight back to Jayapura. Then, proceed to your next destination.
END OF YOUR TRIP

We usually stay in their local house. Especially in Korowai, the stay on the tree house is a hair raising experience, you have to climb the house through 1 single log ladder, and then get the floor of the house. The floor it self made only from the tree bark

Available

  • Tailor Made Program
  • Flexible Departure Date
  • Private Trip
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