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A Glimpse at the KOROWAY hunting tribe on Indonesian jungle tree tops

Updated on June 5, 2012
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Koroway family manKoroway treehousedeerriver fishsago grubssago starch or flourmaking starch or sagowild boarcassowary birdbananas
Koroway family man
Koroway family man
Koroway treehouse
Koroway treehouse
river fish
river fish
sago grubs
sago grubs
sago starch or flour
sago starch or flour
making starch or sago
making starch or sago
wild boar
wild boar
cassowary bird
cassowary bird

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KOROWAY TRIBE- Tree-Tops Dwellers

The KOROWAY tribe of people are found in the jungle fastnesses of Indonesia . particularly in the easternmost part of the Province of Papua. While their literate and cultured brothers dwelt in plushy and air-conditioned mansion and bungalows, this tribe built their cozy dwellings high atop trees surrounded by cool, invigorating and fresh air. Their homes which contain a family members of up to 8 are not well-fixed and are abandoned anytime they migrate to other places, following the seasons in search of food, water and other basic needs. Their huts on tree tops vary in height depending on the kind of relationship they have with their fellow Koroway members. Their playgrounds are the jungles that abound with all sorts of fauna and flora and rivers teeming with fishes.

They were officially recognized as tree dwellers because of their preference to erect their cool huts high above grounds on treetops obviously for safety. This nomadic tribe numbers about 3,000 according to 2010 census count which the government had undertaken. They were found to be wearing nothing but leaves. They weren’t aware of any other people but themselves until the late 1970’s when anthropologists conducted a study on the tribe. Only a handful members of KOROWAY can read and write. A total of 2868 of them were interviewed by census enumerators through missionary translators using sign language.

They use no cellphones, TVs and computers for communication but their unique shouts, howls, smoke signals, trail markings and the ability to read footprints. The knew nothing about English, Tagalog and other lingo because they love their very own tribal dialect.

High Blood, stroke, HIV-and other modern diseases are unheard of in their dominion because they ate less fat, sugar and salt and besides they’re well exercised and possessing well-developed physique that are vital factors in jungle survival. Fresh animal meat and plant products not chilled in refs are their main dish. When luck is on their side, they may have good food such wild boar, deer, sago flour, bananas, beetle grubs and big lizards. Stress? They may have but few and can be counted by the fingers for they pay no income taxes, electric and water bills, loans, etc. Of all people, they enjoy limitless freedom. They recognize no outside authority but their own. Fearless but not warlike, they rally to protect their innate rights and privacy when threatened.

They excel in hunting and fishing. They provide and make their own tools such as stone axe, bow and arrow and spears. Their arrows have different names and intended for various types of prey. The large barbed arrow which is made from cassowary leg bone is intended for killing people. The 4-prong spear is designed for hunting fish while the arrow with a wide blunt tip is used to catch lizards.

Tourists of all creed and nationalities who are interested to take a first hand look at this interesting type of people are welcomed. For a 10-day tour, tourist and visitors would truly enjoy in such activities as trekking, camping, walking in the jungle floors, river canoeing, learning traditional culture and activities, tribal dance, viewing mummy, pig feast and refreshing swim in the river. For complete details, you may log to the following website:



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    • nick071438 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from City of Catbalogan, W, Samar, Philippines

      After reading your comment, I visited your profile and found your hubs fantastic and informative. Keep up the good work and thank you- pager7- for the visit.

    • pager7 profile image


      8 years ago from Kampala-Uganda

      This is absolute awesome! I can feel their peace!


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