Unique Papuan Traditional  Weapons  and Their Uses

Traditional Weapons  of Papua – Papua is a part of eastern Indonesia.  It is directly adjacent to neighboring Papua New Guinea. It  is on the border with neighboring countries  that Papua  is known as West Papua.  It refers to the  regional differences between the two countries.  However,  geographical boundaries do not limit the  cultural diversity  that exists in Papua.

Did you know that indigenous Papuans come from 255  tribes with different languages?  Nowadays, many tribes in Papua are very rich  in  local wisdom in  this area. One of them is in the form of traditional weapons that are  characteristic  as well as have cultural values for the local community.

Here are the traditional Papuan weapons that you must recognize as a  generation of Indonesians:

Papua is known not only for its unique traditional  dress, but also  its various traditional weapons.   Its main components are  usually sourced locally.  No   wonder  they lead a closed primitive life, as we know that Papua is very famous for its forests. Therefore  , usually Papuans use traditional  clothes made of materials in nature.

It is the same with traditional weapons that are also recognized as national treasures, so we need to preserve them. Papua is the largest state  in  eastern Indonesia.  With an area of 808,105 km², Papua is the  largest island in the world and the largest in Indonesia.  Initially Papua had one state  in Irian Jaya.

But since  2003 the name Papua has been used in the east and West Papua in the  western part of the island of  Papua.  Like other indigenous peoples, Papuans and West Papuans forage  by hunting animals.  All equipment in  this realm is used as a  traditional weapon to defend against  hunting and attacks from other tribes.

By and large traditional weapons serve to defend life, protect themselves from enemies, and fight groups if anyone wants to oppress them.  In terms of economic development, Papua may still be  gradual, but gradually  it can still  develop.  This development is what makes the Papuan tribe a respectable tribe.  List of  Traditional Papuan Weapons

1.  Kuscus Bone-Based Puncture Tool

First, there is a  puncture device weapon made of cuscus animal bones. This puncture tool  from the cuscus bone  is a traditional Papuan  weapon used by one of  the  indigenous Papuan  tribes, namely the Bauzi.  The Bauzis were a semi-nomadic  tribe because  none of  their settlements  were clear.  The Bauzi tribe lives in houses made of leaves and twigs from the forest.

They chose riverbanks  to occupy to make it easier for  them to  mobilize when food sources on site were minimal. Therefore,  this Bauzi tribe built a simple house that can be  easily  demolished every time they are about to move house.  The tradition that  is still maintained is the  tradition of hunting and concocting.

These two   survival systems work alternately  to protect Papua’s terrestrial ecosystem   . The Bauzi people grow crops such as bananas, sweet potatoes, and cassava in the forest to collect food.  Before the harvest season,  the tribe hunts wildlife, catches fish, and sets wild boar  traps.  At that time,  the weapon they used to hunt animals while waiting for harvest was a  spear made of these steamed bones.

Using  steamed bones as a traditional weapon  is very environmentally friendly. This happens because it  does not require the help of industrial tools  that pollute the environment during its manufacture.  This  traditional West Papuan weapon is made from a  thoroughly washed  kuskus bone (before the meat is eaten and separated from the bone), rubbed with a whetstone, and  repeated until the desired  sharpness.

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2. Dagger Knife

The second traditional Papuan  weapon  is a dagger or also  known as the Papuan kris.  This knife  has a very unique shape and has a tassel on the handle of the weapon.  This really shows the strong culture of  Papua.  This traditional weapon  is useful for slashing when hunting animals in the forest.  The animals they encountered were  large mammals and crocodiles.

Papuans have a habit  of not using firearms  when hunting.  The Papuan dagger is a knife made of a unique material that  is not easily available elsewhere, such as the  bones of cassowary birds  endemic to Papua.   Cassowary bones are used in local culture as a valuable tool in life.

The wings attached to the handles of the knives are also  the wings of the cassowary bird. The people of Papua  are widely known  for their wisdom in getting to know natural ecosystems.    It is the friendly interaction between humans and nature that can create cultural creations. The ongoing process of cultural  creation  is of great importance in changing human attitudes, including cultural change.

Through these traditional West Papuan  weapons,  Indonesians in general need to learn how to  create cultural coherence.  However,    cultures also undergo uneven changes from one ecosystem to another.  Generally, daggers are made of metal blades, and in contrast to Papuan cassowaries, cassowaries are made of bones with pointed ends and handles decorated with cassowary wings.

The handle of a dagger knife is  usually equipped with natural fibers and ornaments in the form of cassowary bird feathers.  Cassowary leg  bones  were  chosen because of their relatively sturdy construction, yet they are easy to shape and sharpen.    The Papuan dagger is one of the main weapons,  an auxiliary weapon  for bows and arrows.    Traditional Papuan tribes usually use this weapon to hunt, fight, and collect forest products.

3. Papuan Spear

The Papuan  spear is a traditional weapon  in West Papua  which is also commonly called “Tul” by the local people.  A spear is a  weapon that can be used for combat and hunting.  In addition, Papuan culture itself often uses spears as a characteristic of  its dances.  The above  weapons  are made of basic materials that are easy to find in nature.

A  tree trunk on the handle and  a sharp river stone  on the head of the  spear. This  allows the spear to  survive as a necessary weapon for hunting and  combat activities.  The special feature of this traditional Papuan  weapon is that it is forbidden to  use spears for purposes other than hunting or fighting.

For example, pike is not allowed to cut off  young tree shoots  or pike to carry gardening supplies.  Violation of the rules of this hunting equipment  will result in bad luck. On the  other hand, the manufacture of the spear frame takes time.  It starts from a   log taken from a  tree, dried and cut into 3m pieces.

After drying,  the patterned wood will look like this and be rubbed with sea snail powder to a sharp point.  It will take  about a week.  In traditional Papuan customs, the spear is interpreted as a symbol of human courage. Therefore,  the pike should always be   well stored.  It is usually hung from the ceiling or placed on the walls of the house.

Papuan spears are made of natural materials such as wood, sharp stones  and  eye bones.  But over time,  the materials used to make  spears underwent a development that was originally made of wood and is now made of metal. There are two types of spears, namely one-eyed  spears and   double-edged spears. The throwing distance of this  spear is about 50 meters.

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Therefore,  it is not surprising  that  many Papuans have succeeded in  becoming professional javelin throwers.  Unlike the traditional weapons of North Sumatra, spears are commonly used as weapons of war in North Sumatra. In New Guinea, pikes are used to hunt animals.

But he thinks spear hunting  is  more efficient because it doesn’t make a knocking sound like a firearm.  The most hunted  animal  is the deer, because this animal is the most populous animal in the forests of New Guinea.

4.   Papuan Crossbow

Bows and arrows  are one of  the  traditional weapons of  West Papua used to hunt wild boars  and  other animals.  Bows and arrows  are  also Papuan weapons that are always carried with spears.  Another use of the arrow is as a tool of war.  The difference  lies in the material used for his arrowhead.

For the purpose of hunting animals is to use bamboo iron. On the   other hand, indigenous Papuans have a rule that the spears used when going to war are made of animal bones.   Arrows are also used as house decorations in some parts of Papua, such as Irian Jaya, Wamena, and Kururu.   The arrows in this area are for home collection  only.

The collection of bows and arrows should   not be carelessly placed on  the walls of the house in  honor of the arrow culture.  Collecting bows and  arrows is already part  of society. So finding a place to sell  arrows is not difficult.  Usually  arrows can be traded in the market for collection purposes or ordered directly from dart craftsmen  .

In modern times, this traditional Papuan weapon has undergone many developments and changes for modernization.  The result is archery with the same  technology and tools. What distinguishes is the  purpose of such activities.  Archery is for recreation, and  traditional  Papuan bows and  arrows are  a means of survival.

5.  Papuan Machete Weapon

The Papuan machete is a  traditional West Papuan  weapon that is a symbol of the  strength and tenacity of men at home. The machete is called “Jalowy” by the local people. This Papuan machete  takes a lot of  time in the manufacturing process.  It comes from a stone that is split and opened and then sharpened to form a sharp machete.

To increase hardness and durability, machete craftsmen always add pork oil and lard  and then sharpened until smooth and sharp.  This traditional Papuan  weapon  has many basic uses.  For  domestic purposes, such as cooking, cutting meat, cutting sago.

In addition, Papuan machetes are also used in  agriculture and can be used as a tool to recruit potential partners.  In addition, the use of Paran Papua can also  be used as a collection.  For foreign and local tourists who need it as a decoration on the walls of the house.

6. Papuan Axe

Axe is a  traditional weapon from West Papua, this is an icon of the  Irian Jaya region, where there are still many  people who use this tool in their daily activities.   This axe is called “Jee Jugum” by the people of Irian Jaya.  Assembling this traditional  weapon is very easy  by tying stones to a tree which  will later be used as a  handle.

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In ancient times, Papuans used stone  axes as a tool to cut down trees and make sago.  But this  practice was gradually abandoned because it was    inefficient  and took a lot of effort and time. Basically, the function of this traditional Papuan  weapon  is as a means of self-defense in battle.

But as  time goes by, more and more  people use  this axe as a  tool to sharpen weapons and cut and  break wood.  In addition,  the flat and streamlined shape of the  axe makes the task  easier  for  those who do it themselves by making an axe as a  tool for peeling bark  that  used as a material for building houses.

People inside Papua usually make axes  from sharp stones  (Stone axes) to facilitate their work.  In its manufacture, stones are fastened on  wooden sticks with rattan ropes that serve as handles. It’s very easy to use, just tap on the stone that leads to the object you want to cut.

For example;  wood, meat, or something else.  Some cultural experts  say that the use of this weapon includes: As a tool for cutting down trees and supporting the  production of sago.  Not only as a weapon,  stone axes and  the modern term stone axes became a luxury item for the Asmat tribe, as well  as  nephrite raw materials that were difficult to obtain.

7.  Papuan Chisel  Weapon

Sculpture is a  traditional Papuan weapon and has a variety of  uses, such as for cutting rattan for weaving, tools for piercing trees, and  emergency tools for stabbing enemies when war.  However, most of  its features now turn to the tools used in the carpentry arena.

According to its history,  this sculpture in ancient times  was a  tool used to cut off the fingers of the deceased’s family.  Unfortunately,  this culture is banned by  the government and  can only be used as an industrial tool. The process of making  traditional West Papuan  weapons is not complicated.  For added convenience, craftsmen usually add thin  wooden rolls.

As one of  the  traditional weapons of  Papua, sculpture is closely related to  the local culture.  Cultural strength and originality  are carried by  hereditary heritage to maintain Papua’s  cultural identity.   Papuan culture is one of Indonesia’s cultural heritages that  we  should be  proud of and we all have an obligation to preserve it at  all times.

8. Badik Compilation of Papua

Badik is a traditional weapon of the Bugis  tribe of Makassar and became a traditional  Papuan weapon after Papuans began to know the outside world.  Sounds weird, right?  But that’s the reality.  Perhaps this weapon has existed since the Kingdom of Sulawesi.    Badik’s weapon is shaped like a short knife.

According to mythology, badik is considered to  have known properties of badik style and strokes, and   is used to have scratches such as rice leaves called pamorolecoase.  This prestige is said to  have the property to fertilize plants if farmers bring in friends when sowing seeds or planting crops.

Pamorolecoase is also believed that the owner can change his attitude to become a spiritual  warrior, but with a little luck and even a partner. Papuans believe that badik weapons have a certain value and meaning. In Papua itself, badik has  always been a traditional weapon used in battles and battles.

That’s the list of traditional Papuan weapons that  we need to know.  Besides being famous for its unique traditional   weapons, Papua has a variety of cultures and  amazing natural beauty.