Abandoned indigenous house in Indonesia


Abandoned indigenous house in Indonesia. Deep within the inaccessible jungle of the southeast Indonesian province of Papua lives the Korowai tribe, a clan totally isolated from the rest of the world. They are hunter-gatherers living in a small society of traditional family ties who need to share all they have in order to survive. Until their discovery by a Dutch missionary in 1974, the Korowai had hardly any contact with the outside world.
The Korowai people live in tree houses ranging in height from 6 to 12 meters, but some are as high as 35 meters above the ground. Usually the houses are built on a single tree, but frequently the base of the house consists of several living trees, and additional support is derived from wooden poles. They make new ones often since they only last a few years.
These tree houses protect families not only against swarms of mosquitoes below but also ward off annoying neighbors and evil spirits.
The Korowai are excellent hunter-gatherers and horticulturalists who practice shifting cultivation. I read that since the early 1990s, some of them got involved with tour companies selling tours into the Korowai region and generating moderate cash income this way. To consider, they are the same people who, less than two decades ago, never knew a world existed outside their jungle.
The Korowai tribe residing in the remote jungles of southeast Papua, Indonesia is known for constructing unique tree houses elevated up to 114 feet to avoid threats. They often abandon these houses due to death occurrences, fearing lingering bad spirits.
The tribe’s transition towards modern settlements and external influences like tourism have led to increased abandonment of traditional homes, evoking concerns over cultural preservation and exploitation. Efforts are ongoing to balance modernization support with the preservation of their indigenous lifestyle.

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