Honai (Papuan House) Gifts To The Papuan People

In a good Saturday of June 10th, the Papuan people of Sinak District were gifted ten Honai houses. The Honai houses were gifts from the Regional Military Commander (KODAM) XVII/Cenderawasih, Major General of National Army, Hinsa Siburian. The entourage was greeted by thousands of local people with the traditional dance of bakar batuThis dance is a festive dance to honor guests and celebrate important events. They will dance, along with a big feast, cooked using stones burnt in big fire. This is where the name of the dance came from. Bakar batu means burn the stones.

Honai is a traditional papuan house. With a height of around 2-2.5 meters and consists of two floors. The first room is used as a chamber to sleep, equipped with fire to warm themselves and cook. The second room is used for various activities such as relaxing and many others. Honai is designed for the cold weather of Papua. Fit for the people of Sinak District in Puncak, Papua. The name Puncak it self means the top, referring to the location of the place that is on top of the mountain and have a cold weather.

Honai traditional house. Via lihat.co.id

The name Honai comes from Hun or man, and Ai which means house. It literally means the house for man. There are three types of traditional papuan house. The first type is also called Honai (for the men), Ebei (for the woman), and Wamai (for cattle). These houses serve as ceremonial and educational purposes. For instance, the house for men (Honai) would be used to formalize war or traditional ceremonies and teach boys how to be a man. The house for women (Ebei) would be used to teach girls on womanly duties. Boys until a certain age would still live in Ebei with their mothers, until they’ve reached an age where they have to live with the men in Honai.

These traditional Papuan houses are a part of the National Army’s program to support the people of Indonesia. The program is called Program Serbuan Teritorial or Territories Advancement Program. This development program is an initiative from the National Army to develop and support the people of Indonesia in food safety, security against proxy war and to embrace the community organizations. Papua as one of Indonesia’s territory is included as one of the priority, in accordance with President Jokowi’s vision for his government.

Witnessed by the Head of District of Sinak, Revinus Telenggen, the symbolic handover was carried out. On that occasion, the Head of Army Wives Union of Regional Military Kartika Chandra Kirana XVII, Endang Hinsa Siburian, also gifted staple food such as instant noodle.


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