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Updated December 21st, 2019 at 13:11 IST

Korowai: A look Indonesia's tribe known for practicing cannibalism, witchcraft

Korowai tribe who live in West Papua, Indonesia is known for practising cannibalism and witchcraft and are reportedly living as they did 10,000 years ago.

Bhavya Sukheja
Korowai Tribe
| Image:self
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A remote tribe who live in West Papua, Indonesia is known for practising cannibalism and witchcraft and are reportedly living as they did 10,000 years ago. The Korowai people were totally disconnected from the outside world until the 1970s. There had been no previous recorded contact between them and the western world, in fact, scientists also believed that the tribe may not have ever realised anyone else even existed other than themselves. According to international media reports, some anthropologists have also written that deaths among the tribe are attributed to 'khakhua' or demons that take the human form. 

While talking to an international media outlet, an Italian photojournalist Gianluca Chiodini said that the Korowai live in the heart of the rainforest, where they're not yet exposed to the modern world, so they still maintain many of their age-old traditions. Chiodini reportedly spent several days hiking through leech-infested, rain-soaked jungles to reach the mysterious tribe. He reportedly said the tribe has no access to modern medicine and they treat diseases with herbs and witchcraft. One of the tribe traditions also include to perform cannibalistic rituals on anyone believed to be a 'khakua' so as to protect the rest of the members. 

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140-feet high houses

According to Chiodini one of the most remarkable engineering feats of the tribe is their ability to construct great treehouse which sit 140-feet high in the jungles. The treehouse are reportedly constructed and placed on stilts, which were designed to protect the members of the tribe. The 140-feet high houses are only accessed by wooden ladders placed u against the stilts to reach the top. According to reports, the central pole is made from a Banyan tree, with the bark of sago palm used for the floor and walls. The roof, on the other hand, is made from the sago leaves. Fire pits are further created to protect the hut.

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Published December 21st, 2019 at 12:38 IST

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