Fayu people

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Fayu people
Total population
Regions with significant populations
 Indonesia (Papua (province))
Fayu language, Indonesian language
Christianity (65%), other ethnic religion (35%)[1]

The Fayu are an ethnic group that live in an area of swampland in Papua, Indonesia. When first contacted by westerners they numbered about 400; a number reduced from about 2000 due to violence within the group. The Fayu generally live in single family groups with gatherings of several such groups once or twice a year to exchange brides. Two books have been written about living among them. The first is by Sabine Kuegler[2] who spent most of her childhood growing up with them. The second is Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies[3] where the group is used as an example of a band type society. The Fayu are often described in books written about them as Stone Age people, cannibalistic, brutal fighters, backward, and as a people who can only count up to three.[4] Today, the Fayu people number up to 1,470; the majority of them are Christians.[1]


  1. ^ a b http://joshuaproject.net/people_groups/11193/ID
  2. ^ Sabine Kuegler (2007). Child Of The Jungle: The True Story Of A Girl Caught Between Two Worlds. Grand Central Publishing. ISBN 0-7595-7272-0. 
  3. ^ Jared Diamond (1999). Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies. W. W. Norton. ISBN 0-3930-6922-2. 
  4. ^ Deutsche Gesellschaft für Kulturmorphologie & Universität Frankfurt am Main. Frobenius-Institut (1967). Paideuma: Mitteilungen zur Kulturkunde, Volumes 13-15. W. Kohlhammer Verlag. ISSN 0078-7809. 

External links

  • Sabine Kuegler account of her time with the Fayu.
  • 2007 Kuegler, Sabine Child of the Jungle: The True Story of a Girl Caught Between Two Worlds ISBN 1-84408-261-X

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