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Seeing the Thousand Feet Traditional House of Arfak Mountains, West Papua – At first glance, this traditional house looks ordinary, it seems far from modern civilization. This is the traditional house of the Arfak Tribe who inhabits the Arfak Mountains, West Papua. One hundred percent is made of wood which the material is obtained from the forest where they forage for food. Geographical conditions, natural factors, and customs make the architecture of the Arfak Tribe’s house unique. Ordinary people call it “The House of a Thousand Feet”.

Living surrounded by forests and mountains makes a stilt house a safe residence. In addition to avoiding wild animals, stilt houses can keep them away from enemy attacks. The nickname millipede was given because this house is supported by a very large wooden foundation. It seems solid, unique, even so complicated because of the many wooden foundations used.

Despite the prestige with the name of the house of a thousand feet, the Arfak Tribe has its own name. They dubbed it Mod Aki Aksa. This traditional house has been a shelter for the Arfak Tribe since hundreds of years ago.

Hundreds of logs were used to build millipede houses. In contrast to houses on stilts in general, which use several large main pillars as a support. The diameter of this support wood is only 10 centimeters on average. It is fixed up as high as 1.5 meters, neatly arranged with a distance between the poles of 30 centimeters.

Even with small logs, don’t underestimate the strength of the foundation of this house. Like the word “United We Are Strong” is clearly seen in the construction of a millipede house foundation. Dozens of these small foundations are in fact able to support a large family in it. Even the Aksa Battery Mod is usually used as a place to party.

Miraculously, the wooden slats of this foundation are only held together with ropes made of wood fibers. Even though it’s spacious, it’s so tight under this millipede house that it can’t be used as a residence. The Arfak tribe only uses it as a place to store firewood and as a pigsty.

The Arfak tribe is not the only inhabitant of the Arfak mountains. There are the Hattam Tribe, the Moille Tribe, the Meyakh Tribe, and the Sough Tribe. The Arfak tribe itself dominates the eastern part of the Arfak Mountains which is located in the Warmere District and Prafi District, West Papua. Their food commodities come from the agricultural sector, hunting, and raising livestock.

Regarding cooking activities, the Arfak Tribe process their food at home. An option, considering the fire will provide additional warmth in the Aksa Battery Mod. The cold became a loyal friend of the Afrak Tribe. On average they live at an altitude of 2,950 masl, exceeding the height of the peak of Mount Merapi in Central Java. You can imagine how cold it was in the Arfak Tribe settlement.

Alang-alang roofs and thatched leaves are the hallmarks of traditional houses in the interior of the forest. The structure of this house only consists of one main room. Rectangular or elongated. The walls are made of wooden slats which are smaller than the size of the foundation. Covered with bark, also with the addition of reeds.

The millipede house has no windows around the house on purpose. This makes it difficult for cold air to enter the main room. There are only two doors, on the front and back. However, there is only one wooden staircase in front of the main door.

In addition to Honai which is a symbol of the traditional Papuan house, there are actually many types and forms of this traditional house of Cendrawasih Earth. Geographical factors and customs make the architecture of traditional houses in Papua diverse.

Aki Aksa’s Mod House is indeed famous for its millipede house. But not home to millipedes. Although not widely known, the millipede house is currently starting to be abandoned. Many residents of the Arfak Tribe have switched to building houses on land directly. Without a high foundation, the identity of the millipede house slowly began to disappear, replaced by houses with tin roofs, and walls made of wooden boards.


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This Blog has gone through many obstacles and attacks from violent Free West Papua separatist supporters and ultra nationalist Indonesian since 2007. However, it has remained throughout a time devouring thoughts of how to bring peace to Papua and West Papua provinces of Indonesia.

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