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.
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.
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.
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.