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Amung people

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Title: Amung people  
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Subject: Amung language, Ethnic groups in Indonesia, Mining in Indonesia, Papua (province), Tembagapura
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Amung people

Amung people
Amungme people / Amuy people
Damal people / Uhunduni people
Total population
Regions with significant populations
Papua (Indonesia)
Damal language
Christianity (predominantly), Animism
Related ethnic groups
Asmat people, Bauzi people, Dani people

The Amung (also known as Amungme, Amuy, Damal or Uhunduni) people are a group of about 17,700 people living in the highlands of the Papua province of Indonesia. Their language is called Damal.

The traditional beliefs of the Amungme people are animistic. The Amungme people did not have the idea of "gods" that are separate from nature where spirits and nature are one and the same.[2]

They practice shifting agriculture, supplementing their livelihood by hunting and gathering. The Amungme are very tied to their ancestral land and consider the surrounding mountains to be sacred.

This has led to friction with the Indonesian government, which is eager to exploit the vast mineral deposits contained there. Major changes in the Amungme of the highlands and Kamoro of the lowlands lifestyle have been brought about by the Grasberg mine, situated in the heart of Amungme territory and owned by Freeport-McMoRan, the region's largest single employer. Extensive gold and copper mining have altered the landscape, and the presence of the mine and its infrastructure has attracted numerous other economic migrants from western Indonesia as well as other Papuans, some of whom have tried to settle on traditional Amungme lands. This has caused land dispute regarding customary land rights between the Amungme people against Freeport Indonesia mining company in Timika.[3] In the last 35 years, the Amungme have seen their sacred mountain destroyed by the mine, and watched as their relatives are killed by Indonesian soldiers "defending" it, while the Kamoro have more than 200,000 tons of waste pumped into their rivers each day.[4] All these factors have created complex social and political stresses, and led to somewhat frequent protests and/or social conflicts, some of which have been violently suppressed by the Indonesian police or military.[5]


  1. ^ "Amung in Indonesia".  
  2. ^ Craig A. James (2010). The Religion Virus. John Hunt Publishing.  
  3. ^ August Kafiar & Tom Beanal (2000). PT. Freeport Indonesia Dan Masyarakat Adat Suku Amungme. Forum Lorentz. 
  4. ^ Jeremy Seabrook (2004). Consuming Cultures: Globalization And Local Lives. New Internationalist.  
  5. ^ Monash University. Castan Centre for Human Rights Law, United Nations. Global Compact Office, Prince of Wales International Business Leaders Forum, United Nations. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (2008). Human Rights Translated: A Business Reference Guide. United Nations Publications.  
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