The best 5 cultural attractions of Papua

Harbor Near Jayapura Papua

Harbor Near Jayapura Papua ©a_rabin/Flick

Papua is a beautiful place, the most eastern state of Papua. The islanders are divided in more than 250 groups, the larger are the Marindan, the Yah’ray, the Asmat, the Mandobo, the Dani and the Afyat. The ones living in the central land hold their habits and traditions not being influenced by external factors. The different communities are mostly living in complete isolation, and this is the reason of the incredibly diverse cultures.

We present you the best 5 cultural attractions of Papua including Jayapura, the capital city of Papua, a museum, two mummies, the village of Wamena and and the Asmat ethnic group.


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In coastal areas of Papua appeared the first traders from the Sriwijaya empire in the 7th century. The European traders researching for spices appeared at the beginnig of the 16th century for the first time in the region, this prove the Bougainville, Cape d’Urville andTorres Strait geographical designations. The Dutch had the most enduring impact on the island, in 1828 Papua was officially declared a zone of Dutch rule in which it remained until 1962.

The city of Jayapura

Jayapura is the seat of Indonesia’s easternmost province and also its largest city. The beautiful town with a pleasant atmosphere was built on the mountain slopes overlooking the bay. The Second World War headquarter of Douglas McArthur is still standing. This was the place where the general preparing to occupy the Philippines rally his fleet.

Harbor Near Jayapura Papua

Harbor Near Jayapura Papua ©a_rabin/Flick

The mummies of Papua

In the village of Jiwika in Papua, at 15 km from Wamena, you can see a 300-year-old mummy, and the 250 -year-old Purna mummy is in Asologaima, at 33 km from Wamena, in the Jayawijaya Prefecture.

The Jayapura Museum

The Jayapura Museum is in the Cendrawasih university city of Papua. The Tanjung Ria beach, or the “G base” as it was called in the Seconf Wordl War by the allies, today is a popular holiday resort of watersport fans.

Museum in Cendrawasih

Museum in Cendrawasih ©biakdobedo/Flick

The village of Wamena

The village of Wamena is located in the Jayawijaya Prefecture of Papua, the locals live in wooden, windowless, circular houses covered with thick grass roof that they call them honay.

The Asmat ethnic groups

The Asmat ethnic groups live on the secluded south-eastern coastline of the Papua Island. They are famous of their “primitive” style artistic wood carvings and their long houses. The effects of modern civilization has only recently entered the area. In the Museum of Agats you can see an interesting collection of wooden sculptures and everyday objects. The Asmat crafts received considerable impetus in the late 1960s by the project of the United Nations that supports the traditional crafts. The Asmat Cultural Festival is held every year in October and it is an interesting experience for any tourist.

Papuan Artworks

Papuan Artworks © U.S. Embassy Jakarta, Indonesia/Flick


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