Get to know the Honai home of the Dani Papuan tribe

Have you ever seen a unique home image whose roof is almost similar to  half coconut shell? Well, this unique house is in the easternmost part of Indonesia, precisely in Papua. seeing its unique and funny shape, this house building in Papua is round and circular, the roof is made of straw, and the door is tiny. This is the  Honai house, a traditional Dani house that lives in the Baliem Valley, Jayawijaya Regency, Papua. from the name that sounds unique, it turns out that  honai consists of 2 words namely “Hun” which means adult male and “Ai” which means house. It can be concluded that this house is specifically for adult men.

Honai tribe house papuan
Honai tribe house papuan

Honai traditional houses  these are usually built in groups forming a complex and these buildings are mostly found around the baliem valley, where many Dani tribes live. Inside this valley, there are around 5-6 buildings neatly lined up on high cliff slopes. The size is relatively small, round shape, with walls made of wood and thatched roof. but in this place not everything is shaped like this, some other unique houses in the form of a square named Ebe’ai. the difference between the two houses lies in its inhabitants, Honai is inhabited by men, while Ebe’ai is inhabited by women. besides the two houses, there are also cages intended for pigs called Wamai.

One of the unique houses in Indonesia, there are air vents from straw on the roof  and wooden walls that bring cool air into Honai. If the temperature is too cold, will be lit by a fireplace to warm the bodies of its inhabitants. Although it is rather dangerous because the material used to make this house is flammable, it is still lit from inside the Honai. if in modern housing has a chimney, it is different from this honai house. so that there is no smoke poisoning in the occupants, then the door is left open. The distance from the house to the ceiling is only about 1 meter. consists of 2 floors, namely the first floor as a bed and the second floor serves as a place to relax, eat, and other family activities.

Apart from being used as a residence by the dani tribe, honai house this also has other functions such as: 1. Storage of war and hunting equipment. A place to galvanize boys to become adults3. A place to develop war strategies4. The place to store tools or traditional symbols in addition to having several functions, Honai Dani tribal buildings

it also has a philosophy. circular or round house shape has the meaning, namely: 1. Maintain unity and unity among citizens. sehati, sepikir and one goal in completing a job3. the symbol of personality and is dignity and self-esteem. various tools used by the dani tribe are still maintained today. generally still made of wood, stone, plant fibers, bamboo, bones and animal fangs. while  For cutting tools they still use stone-axes which some of them also use as a medium of exchange to obtain goods from tribes from the lowlands. For tools that are used for farming, they still use a kind of wood shovel. The function of the shovel is to scoop mud when it forms a water channel so that the field remains dry. To plant cassava seeds they only use pelobang wooden sticks. For Dani cooking furnishings, they still use their hot stones using wooden clasps. while for carrying small items, they use baskets that they weave themselves shaped like nets. If they are traveling they always carry fire-making equipment because access to them travels far away, so they do not forget to always bring equipment to make fire as warmers in the middle of their journey or make food in the middle of their journey. Their main weapons are bows and arrows and wooden spears. In addition to fighting, this weapon is used to hunt wild boar, birds, custodians, etc. that is a glimpse of the Honai house  that we should make learning regarding the meaning of life and the reciprocal relationship between humans and the natural environment and with the creator. therefore, the uniqueness of the house from eastern Indonesia must be maintained so that it will not be eroded rapidly.

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