Part of Indonesia, the Indonesian part of New Guinea, is considred part of Ocenania. On Papua I visited Wamena in the Baliem Valley in central Papua. There is no road connection to the Baliem Valley, everything is moved by air.

There is no alcohol served in the whole valley. Apparently the indigenous people can't handle alcohol well, many became alcoholics, so the government made the valley a dry valley.

On the first day we went on a six hour hike along the Baliem River. We encountered a Dani village where they had a community feast in preparation for building a church. They invited us to join them.

On the second day we visited local villages that still preserved their original way of living. The inhabitants of the valley are mostly from the Dani tribe. I visited the Obia village, where my tour organizer had arranged a pig feast.

They started with a mock battle. Apparently fighting between different groups used to be very common. The men and women then did a thanksgiving dance.

They slaughtered a pig by shooting it with an arrow, then prepared it and cooked it in a pit with stones heated in a fire. They included sweet potatoes and vegetables in the pit, and covered everything with banana leaves and grass. The cooking took about 2 hours.

Once the pig and other food was cooked, the pit was opened. The men and women ate separately. The men got most of the meat.

It was an interesting experience.

We then proceeded to the Sumpaima village, where the chief cares for a 250 year old mummy of an important ancestor.

Nearby is the Kontilola Cave with some stalagmite and stalactite formations.

After three nights in Wamena, I flew back to Jayapura in the north of Papua. I visited Pulau Ase, an island in the Sentani Lake, and the Anthropology Museum in Jayapura. The fish market in Jayapura was also quite interesting.

All pictures are © Dr. Günther Eichhorn, unless otherwise noted.

Baliem Valley

Baliem River
Baliem River. (1092k)
Deforestation Along Baliem River
Deforestation along the Baliem River. (1.6M)
Huge Landslide Caused Deforestation
Huge landslide, caused by deforestation. (959k)
Kontilola Cave
Kontilola Cave. (697k)


Market Wamena
Market in Wamena. (845k)
Market Wamena Selling Penis
Market in Wamena, selling penis gourds and carrying nets. (1216k)
Selling Tobacco Market Wamena
Selling tobacco in the market in Wamena. (861k)
Women Foot Bridge Over
Women on a foot bridge over the Baliem River. They have the net sacks to carry stuff, hanging from their heads. (1082k)
Bridge Had Washed Away
The bridge had been washed away almost a year ago, this makeshift bridge at least got motorcycles across. (1378k)
Gardens Along Baliem River
Gardens along the Baliem River. (1.5M)
Taking Break Baliem River
Taking a break on the Baliem River. (1446k)
Guide Distributing Crackers Local
My guide is distributing crackers to local kids. (1293k)
Hiking Trail Along Baliem
Hiking trail along the Baliem River. (1477k)
Part Trail Hiked Rained
This was part of the trail that I hiked. It rained a lot while I was in Indonesia. (1.5M)
Community Feast Dani Village
Community feast in the Dani village. (1.6M)
Community Feast Dani Village
Community feast in the Dani village. (1208k)
Man Community Feast
Man at the community feast. (1405k)
Man Dani Village
Man in the Dani village. (1449k)
Local Kids Dani Village
Local kids in the Dani village. (1238k)
Local Kids Community Feast
local kids at the community feast. (1261k)
Kids Community Feast Messy
Some of the kids at the community feast were messy eaters. (754k)
Guide Singing Religious Songs
My guide was singing religious songs at the community feast. (1410k)
Christian Church
Christian church. (1226k)
Entrance Obia Village Barrier
Entrance to the Obia village. The barrier is to keep animals inside. (890k)
Obia Village
Obia village. (1409k)
Grooming Local Village
Grooming in the local village. (1079k)
Inside Communal Hose Dani
Inside the communal hose in the Dani village. (930k)
250 Year Old Mummy
The 250 year old mummy of an important ancestor. (984k)
Village Pulau Ase Lake
Village on Pulau Ase in Lake Sentani. (849k)
Houses Pulau Ase Lake
Houses on Pulau Ase in Lake Sentani. (808k)
House Pulau Ase Lake
House on Pulau Ase in Lake Sentani. (913k)
House Vegetable Herb Garden
House with vegetable and herb garden. (869k)
Communal Meeting House Pulau
Communal meeting house on Pulau Ase. (1076k)
Grave Village Pulau Ase
Grave in the village on Pulau Ase. (1340k)
Compressed Gas Bottle Serves
A compressed gas bottle serves as a gong to notify the village if necessary. (817k)

Pig Feast and Dance

Local Dani Family
Local Dani family. (1097k)
Cutest Kid Around
It was the cutest kid around. (1186k)
Warriors Did Mock Battle
The warriors that did the mock battle. (1304k)
Putting War Paint
Putting on war paint. (1466k)
Getting Ready Battle Warrior
Getting ready for battle, with one warrior on the lookout tower. (996k)
Lookout Tower
Lookout tower. (819k)
Battling Warriors
Battling warriors. (907k)
Battling Warriors
Battling warriors. (1358k)
Battling Warriors
Battling warriors. (1432k)
Indigenous Warrior
Indigenous warrior. (1265k)
Indigenous Warrior Traditional Penis
Indigenous warrior with traditional penis gourd. (1415k)
Indigenous Warrior Traditional Penis
Indigenous warrior with traditional penis gourd. Some of the men were much more elaborately decorated. (1484k)
Close-up Warrior
Close-up of a warrior. (857k)
Dance Give Thanks
Dance to give thanks. (1.5M)
Dance Give Thanks
Dance to give thanks. (1003k)
Dancing Women
Dancing women. (1023k)
Dancing Warrior
Dancing warrior. (964k)
Dancing Warrior
Dancing warrior. (1042k)
Making Fire Vigorously Rubbing
Making fire by vigorously rubbing a string around a wooden log. (1328k)
He has fire. (1.6M)
Building Wood Fire Heat
Building the wood fire to heat the stones. (1.6M)
Loading Wood Fire Stones
Loading the wood fire with the stones that will cook the feast. (1236k)
Getting Ready Kill Pig
Getting ready to kill the pig. (1400k)
Preparing Pig
Preparing the pig. (1.7M)
Cut Off Ear Tail
They cut off one ear and the tail as a symbolic gift for the protecting spirits. (1228k)
Pig Put Fire Remove
The pig is put on the fire to remove the hair, not to cook it. (1125k)
Carving Pig
Carving up the pig. (1.5M)
Pit Started Layer Grass
The pit is started with a layer of grass. (1.7M)
Lining Pit Leaves Bed
Lining the pit with leaves as a bed for the pig. (1.8M)
Putting Hot Stones Pit
Putting the hot stones in the pit. (1392k)
Putting Hot Stones Pit
Putting the hot stones in the pit. (1435k)
Comes Pig
Here comes the pig. (1.6M)
Pit Being Closed Covering
The pit is being closed by covering it with grass. (1.6M)
Pit Cooking
The pit is cooking. (1489k)
Pit Opened Cooling Stones
The pit is opened, the cooling stones will be removed. (1.5M)
Cooked Pig Removed Leaves
The cooked pig is removed from the leaves. (1412k)
Cooked Sweet Potatoes
Cooked sweet potatoes. (996k)
Women Girls Eating
The women and girls eating. (1451k)
Men Boys Eating
The men and boys eating. (1301k)
Chief Carving Pig Piece
The chief is carving up the pig with a piece of bamboo. (959k)

Videos from the Pig Feast

Thanksgiving Dance
Thanksgiving Dance. (69.8M)
Mock Battle
Mock battle. (77.1M)

Anthropology Museum

Wooden Shield
Wooden shield. (755k)
Ceremonial Drum
Ceremonial drum. (686k)
Wooden Figures
Wooden figures. (767k)
Wooden Female Figure
Wooden female figure. (684k)
Wooden Male Figure
Wooden male figure. (762k)
Child Coffin
Child coffin. (749k)

This page contains 81 pictures and 2 videos

Main page for Indonesia

Page last updated on Wed Dec 15 12:27:08 2021 (Mountain Standard Time)

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