13 Fascinating Facts about Papua Indonesia

What do you think if you hear about Papua? Do you imagine Raja Ampat as the most beautiful place that you want to visit? Yap, Raja Ampat is one of the popular destinations for the foreign traveler.

Actually, Papua is considered as a beautiful area at the eastern part of Indonesia. Besides, it is a province that rich of minerals, forests and other natural resources. To know more facts about Papua, you could read these following paragraphs.

  1. 268 local languages used in Papua beside Indonesian Language

There are at least 268 languages in Papua (Papua & West Papua province). The names of languages in Papua were formed from the long history of Papua, including in colonialism, as well as interactions with the surrounding tribes, interactions among Papua people, and other non-scientific activities. Because most of languages are majority have never had the writing culture, the name of languages are written in Latin letters. Many languages are also known for more than one name, spelling and decoding. (Read also: Indonesian Language)

  1. At least 255 original tribes found in Papua

Papua is island that inhabited by hundreds of tribes who are originated from Papua. The total estimation of the tribe in Papua is 255 tribes. The uniqueness of these tribes in Papua is because it has a different race with the tribes in other parts of Indonesia. That is why some tribes in Papua are considered as Indigenous Tribes of Indonesia.These tribes in Papua have the Negroid race, like the tribes that exist in Africa.

They have a sturdy physical structure, dark skin and curly hair. The tribe of Papua is the first human being that exists in Southeast Asia, tens of thousands of years before the entry of Malay nations. (Read also: Dayak Tribe)

  1. Has the high risk of natural disasters

Papua Regional Disaster Management Agency recorded that seven of the 11 districts in the region has the high risk of natural disasters such as earthquakes, flash floods and tsunamis. Based on the national disaster risk index, the region in Papua such as Ampnir, Manokwari District, Raja Ampat Regency, Teluk Bintuni District, Teluk Wondama Regency, Sorong Regency, South Sorong Regency and Maybrat Regency are listed as highly disaster-prone areas in West Papua. (Read also:  Disaster in Indonesia)

  1. Most of inhabitants of Papua don’t like the word of Papua or Irian

 Not many people know that the word ‘Papua’ is disliked by the native of Papua. The word “PAPUA” has a bad meaning. It was developed by the Portuguese and the Dutch during their time in Papua to divide the Papuan people.

They prefer to call their country by the name of Nuu Waar. Nuu means light, beam or light. While Waar from the word Eva, the first meaning is ‘confess’ or translated with a deeper meaning which means ‘keeping secrets’. From Onim (Patipi) Nuu is also light. Waar means a big stomach coming out of Mom’s stomach. Then the name Nuu Waar means a country that claims to keep or carry a secret.

  1. The location of the only one snowy mountain in Indonesia

 Jayawijaya mount is a dream for Asian climbers, especially those who live in Indonesia. Therefore, the peak is the highest land in Indonesia and in Asia. The altitude is 4,884 meters above the surface. It is also considered as one of Highest Mountain in Indonesia with Stunning Views. On the top of this mount, there is a snowy area. Another special thing is that you can find objects or sea items in the peak of mountain, such as shell houses or other marine fossils. It is because the peak of Jayawijaya once was the bottom of the ocean. (Read also: Hiking in Indonesia)

  1. There is an organization of separatism called “Organisasi Papua Merdeka”

The Organization of Papua Merdeka  or usually called OPM is an organization which has a mission to separate Papua from Indonesia.  The member of OPM group often do violence to against civilians and the security forces to fight for their politics. It is clearly called “Separatism”.

They have even continued to seek international support by creating an issue on the occurrence of human rights abuses in Papua, as if there were unfair treatment from the central government and the security apparatus to the Papuan people.

  1. Have the great potential of natural resource

Do you know Freeport? Yap, it is the biggest mining company in Indonesia. It has been well known that Papua is very rich of various natural resources. The mining sector is already able to contribute more than 50% of Papua’s economy, with copper, gold, oil and gas. It has a potential of 2.5 billion tons of gold and copper ore seeds. All of them are located in the Freeport concession area.

There are 6.3 million tons of coal, limestone over an area of 190,000 ha, 75 ha of quartz sand with a potential yield of 21.5 million tons, 1.2 million tons of clay, 350 million tons of marble, 125 million tons of granite, and other mining products such as iron sand, nickel and chrome. (Read also:Natural Resources of Indonesia)

  1. The location of the deepest cave

The Speleology (the knowledge that learn about cave) expedition team from France has discovered the deepest cave in the world. It is located in the mountains of Lina, Irameba village, Anggi district, Manokwari, West Irian Jaya.

The depth of the cave reached 2,000 meters. With that depth, the cave is supposedly the deepest in the world after the Lamprechtsofen-Vogelshacht cave in Austria (1,632 m), Mirolda / Lucien Bouclier in France (1,610 m), and Reseau Jean Bernard, also in France (1,602 m). (Read also: Largest Caves in Indonesia)

  1. There are typical endemic animals

To be said endemic an organism must be found only somewhere and not found elsewhere. Well, Papua is the place with many unique endemic animals in Indonesia. If you visit Papua you would easily find red Cendrawasih, spotted carpet sharks, golden mantel tree kangaroos, one-wailed cassowary, and the last is black wing parrots. There you could also find  Bird of Paradise Papua.

  1. Portuguese Sailor was the first discoverer of Papua

If we see The History of West Papua Indonesia, Papua was found the first time by Portuguese sailor in 1511. Since the 16th century, one of source income is as a producer of spices. It is quite famous in 1521 which is the forerunner of the discovery of the island of Papua by the maritime Spanish and Portuguese, the spice called ‘Buah Pala’ and also the feathers of birds as an ornament obtained from the birds called Cenderawasih.

  1. The second biggest island in the world

Papua is considered as the second of the biggest islands in the world. The island of Papua is divided into two different regions of the country. Hemisphere of the island into the territory of Indonesia, and the other half is part of Papua New Guinea. The area of this island reaches about 786,000 km². Although Papua is closed enough to Australia, it is considered as the part of Asia.

  1. The traditional bag of Papua recognized as the world cultural heritage by UNESCO

Papuan traditional bag that is commonly called Noken recognized as one of the world cultural heritage by UNESCO. Noken is a traditional bag made from bark or tree fibers formed with woven or knitting system. The knitted forms are usually net-shaped and are used by the public to carry goods by attaching the Noken bond straps to their heads, while the luggage is placed on the back. It is so unique, right?

  1. No longer considered as under-developed region

Many people judge that all Papuans are naked and like to eat humans. As you know, cannibalism has been ceased from Papua since long ago. And if you think many Papuans are still naked, it just exists in some remote areas of Papua.

Although there are still many inland areas, Papua is generally quite advanced. There have been already many malls and modern markets. But since Papuans are quite close to nature, the authenticity of Papua’s nature is still preserved. Some artists of Indonesia often conduct the concert or meet and greet in Papua.

Those are the facts that might motivate you to explore Papua. Some places in Papua might have been popular in your mind, however there are so many facts that you still don’t know. When you visit there, you could also learn some unique things of Papua Culture Indonesia. Now, are you ready to set a travel to Papua? It would be such a wonderful experience.