Thursday, 23 May 2019 | 14:05 WIB

Five Important Tips when Visiting the Remote Indigenous Tribes of Papua

The Korowai tribe in papua (yukepo)

MANOKWARI, NNC - Just hearing the names of the remote indigenous tribes in Papua can scare and frighten some of us. This is mostly due notion in the general public that the remote indigenous tribes in Papua are often synonymous with cannibalism.

Their primitiveness, underpinned by a very low level of education and general current knowledge, has caused our associating of their existence to seem very out of our reach.

Our fear and anxiety about meeting them makes it difficult to imagine how far we can meet and adapt to these remote indigenous tribes. We would think on whether they can accept us, or whether they see us as food products for their dishes.

Moreover, Papua consists of many tribes speaking languages that are difficult to understand. Clearly, we would imagine getting into a lot of trouble due to its language and customs.

However, one thing to note is that remote indigenous Papuan tribes such as Asmat, Dani, or Kamoro, and others, as well as in other areas, have local wisdom with great manners.

So, we need not fear, there are only a few things to note. If we are polite, they would be more polite. On the other hand, if we are arrogant, fierce, disrespectful, disrespectful to them, then they will be crueler than us.

Furthermore, we can be eaten by them. Why? Because they can regard us as their hunting game.

To that end, below are a number of tips to remember when entering the tribal regions in the remote areas of Papua.

1. Find a local guide to facilitate communication

You cannot pretend to know, because you really do not know the real conditions in Papua. Therefore, before meeting the remote indigenous tribes of Papua, you should look for a travel guide who comes from the local community.

In addition to knowing the real conditions of the area, the local guides can also be translators of the indigenous Papuan tribes. What is certain is that the remote indigenous Papuan tribes cannot speak Indonesian.

2. Smile and greet them often to show that you like them

Being polite is absolute. If you are polite, then they will be more polite with you. If you have trouble answering their questions directly, you can at least smile as an expression of your sympathy towards them.

With a friendly smile or greeting, you are guaranteed to be very kindly replied.

3. Prepare gifts as necessary, as a sign of your attention to them

Give some small gifts when you meet tribes in the remote areas of Papua, such as candy or snacks. Typically, Papuan children love candies given by tourists, they usually refer to it as sweets.

You can also share food with the adults. This will get them closer to you and take sympathy with them so that you can recognize and learn their culture easier.

Remember, everyone who enters their village are always considered a tourist with lots of money.

4. Do not take pictures indiscriminately because they do not appreciate that

There is something to remember when you meet the Dani tribe in Wamena, Papua. You are advised not to take pictures of the Dani tribe people who still wear traditional clothing, such as koteka.

Some of them will usually charge you when you are caught taking photographs or posing for pictures with them. They would ask for IDR50,000 to IDR300,000 or more.

For that, we suggest you check with your guide first whether it possible to take pictures or pose with the remote indigenous tribes.

This is already well-known in Wamena. Remember to check with your guide, and follow their directions and rules.

5. Ask and learn politely as a form of your respect for their existence

Asking them something about customs and skills will be regarded as you honoring them. They will feel appreciated. The important thing is not to show feelings of dislike or degrading their dignity.

Ask your guide about anything that should or should not be done in the presence or in the areas of remote indigenous Papuan tribe. After that, you must obey all the rules and restrictions that exist in the tribe or area.

May you go safely to visit these tribes, and return home safe.