Marind Tribe of Merauke Regency, Papua Province

Merauke Regency is one of the most significant regions in Papua Province, especially when it is related to tourism. Usually, visitors or tourists would explore all parts of this beautiful region and visit natural attractions. Some of them are also interested in local history, in fact. Is that all? Well, Merauke is also known for another allure, which is the presence of a local tribe called Marind! That means tourists can meet these people directly, watch some unique traditions, and learn local cultures. For the information, this tribe usually lives in the south part of Digul River, west part of Maro River, and east part of Yos Sudarso Island. Have no worries. They are friendly and quite approachable!

The Nuance
Well, tourists would be astonished once they arrive at Marind Tribe’s settlements. It is because these people live in a traditional house and wear unique clothes. Moreover, male villagers often wear stunning headgear. As for the women, they wear a stunning cap or nothing at all. Both of the males and females wear straw pants, though. They also live in a traditional house, which is made of natural materials like straws and woods.

Exploring Marind Tribe
The first thing that tourists can enjoy while meeting with Marind Tribe is definitely related to the local traditions and performances. In this case, the best thing to enjoy is the musical performances done by adult males and females. Usually, this is done at an open field and attended by nearby villagers and some tourists. Aside from featuring beautiful dance moves and accompaniment, the performance features unique musical instruments called Tifa. The function is similar to a drum and it has a long shape. Not to mention this instrument has beautiful carvings on it.

After enjoying traditional performances and take photos with villagers, tourists can do more things when meeting with Marind Tribe. For example, they should gather information regarding cultures. In this case, for foreigners and outsiders, they may need the help of a local guide who can help them to talk to villagers. It is said Marind Tribe used to be quite aggressive and often killed others for the skulls! Their local belief is that the skulls have a sacred and mystical power, especially used when naming a new-born baby.

Have no worries. This tribe has stopped that scary culture. Still, tourists can learn history by talking to them further later. The next interesting thing to do in Marind Tribe’s settlement is to join the locals in a special hunting event. At the time, male villagers would gather and head to the forests for hunting wild boars. The good thing is that tourists are allowed to join this activity, as long as they follow the instructions.

Nearby Attractions

  • Kapsul Waktu Monument
  • Wasur National Park
  • Taman Makam Pahlawan Trikora
  • Taman Mandala
  • Gor Head Sai

How to Get There
It is true that tourists must visit Merauke Regency in order to meet Marind Tribe directly. For those who come from Jakarta City, however, they must take an airplane service in order to get to the destination more comfortably. For the information, a flight from Soekarno – Hatta International Airport to Mopah Airport would take around 6 hours and 45 minutes.

After arriving at Merauke, tourists can use a land transportation service and head to nearby villages where the tribe lives. As mentioned before, these people usually live in the south part of Digul River. Some of them also live in the west part of Maro River. In this case, for a more efficient trip, tourists should hire a local guide who can show the exact location and help tourists regarding communication with the tribe later.

Where to Stay

  • Chosen Inn
  • Marind Hotel
  • Asmat Hotel
  • Megaria Hotel
  • Swiss Belhotel
  • Akat Hotel
  • Itese Hotel

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