The imported and convenient food has considered ‘colonizing’ the local food in Papua gradually due to some reasons including transportation and migration.
Easy access of transportation and migration has accelerated the disappearance of the local food such as papeda (Papuan traditional food made from sago), sweet potatoes, taro, red fruit (pandanus) and so on.
Papua Jungle Chef Coordinator Charles Toto told reporters in Jayapura, Tuesday, October 2, 2018, that in the Oceania Parliament session, he proposed a forum to restore the glory of local Papuan food.
“We consider throwing back the local food through the traditional food festival such as ‘eating papeda served in ‘sempe’ as well as other local food festivals,” said Toto.
Furthermore, he said there is a significant change in the local food consumption among the indigenous Papuans. Therefore, the government must take serious attention to this situation.
For example, record some traditional recipes from the elderly. In that way, their grandchildren can learn, know and practice it in their daily lives. Also, the raw ingredients in nature must not remove.
“We explore the traditional recipes that currently become extinct from our parents and try to preserve it,” he said. Moreover, he said,” It is to show the richness of local Papuan food to the international community.”
Toto, who had just attended the Slow Food Festival in Milan, Italy, continued that people abroad were surprised and admired the recipes for the local Papuan food. However, ironically, he said, whether, in Papua or Indonesia, it becomes less popular.
“Papua jungle chef presents our recipes in that event, and also show the identity of Papuan indigenous people,” he said.
“We showed them that we maintain this traditional food, we fight for it and live with it. We want to show to the world that the indigenous Papuans is capable for doing this,” added Toto.
Meanwhile, the Sago Activist Community of Papua is also actively conducting sago festivals in many villages involving the local community. Sago festival consider valuable as an effort to save the sago forests and local spices.
A few days ago a sago festival conducted in Kampung Abar, Ebungfauw sub-district, Jayapura District. The festival will regularly hold every 30 September since 2017. In this festival, sago serves in ‘sempe’, a local name for special pottery for serving ‘papeda’. If in the previous year, it only served 50 sempe, but this time it had at least 150 sempe.
“We are very committed because most sago areas in Indonesia are in Jayapura, Papua, as well as its varieties. Also, Papuans have religious and cultural relations with sago,” said Marshall Suebu, the Coordinator of Sago Activist Community of Papua.
According to Suebu, sago is essential in the culture of the indigenous Papuans, especially those who live in the coastal areas. These local communities have even known this plant and processed it for their daily food many years ago.
Thus, the community that is led by Suebu hopes that Papua Provincial Government will support their activities. He already met some ondoafi (local name for a tribal chief) in Jayapura District to discuss sago and its future conservation.
“(Ondoafi) they welcome us very well,” Suebu said. Moreover, he said they support the proposal by providing lands for sago cultivation.
“In Toware village, they provide 15 hectares for us, while in Evale village, there are 25 hectares. Meanwhile, Abar village has already provided 20 hectares of sago land,” said Suebu.
Currently, Papua Provincial Government has attempted to cultivate sago through the ‘sago movement’ in which every woman has been encouraged to plant at least ten sago trees. Sago is also regarded as a potential commodity and an alternative food for rice. (*)
Reporter: Hengky Yeimo
Editor: Pipit Maizier
Archaeological research to reveal cultural history in Papua and West Papua
Jayapura, Jubi – There is not much archaeological research have done in the provinces of Papua and West Papua. Therefore, the Archeological Centre of Papua Province has deployed researchers to conduct archaeological research that took place in several areas in both provinces.
The areas of research are the Berau Bay of Fak-fak Regency, Fort du Bus of Kaimana Regency, Yahoto prehistoric cave, Beanenbala Naguhi 1 Cave, Beanembala Naguhi 2 Cave of Keerom Regency and Srobu Mountain site of Jayapura Municipality. The research also traced the Austronesian speakers in Nabire Regency, the early prehistoric residential trails in Sentani Lake as well as explored the cultural footprint of Austronesian speakers in Raja Ampat Regency.
The researchers then presented their findings on 11-12 December 2018 in a hotel located in Jayapura City.
In his presentation,a researcher Klementin Fairyo who led the expedition to the prehistoric cave sites in Keerom Regency explained that the purpose of his research is to discover the function of the cave based on the cultural findings as well as to know the cultural characteristic of people living in the border of Indonesia and Papua New Guinea.
“There are a lot of caves found in the border area of Papua and Papua New Guinea, and this needs further investigation,” he said on Wednesday (12/12/2018) in Jayapura.
Meanwhile, Hari Suroto who led an identification of early prehistoric settlement in Sentani Lake area said the lake has produced many sources of food and become a source of clean water for people living nearby.
In the meantime, the Head of the Papua Archeology Centre Drs. Gusti Made Sudamika made an analogy that Papua is like a virgin who has not been touched by humans. Therefore, the archaeologists in Papua should conduct further research in this region.
“And the priority of research would not only cover the coastal areas but the mountainous areas as well, precisely the Baliem Valley, Wamena,” he said.(*)
Reporter: David Sobolim
Editor: Pipit Maizier
Expo – Waena Museum and Arts Centre, the forgotten asset
Artists and cultural observers of Papua encourage the revitalisation of Expo-Waena Museum and Arts Centre.
the museum and arts centre where located in the city border –the border between Jayapura Municipality and Jayapura Regency—is supposed to be able to accommodate all activities related to arts and cultural performances, such as traditional music concerts, culturally related discussions, painting and other art exhibitions, literary and journalism activities, et cetera.
Titus Krist Pekei, the initiator of noken recognition to UNESCO, told Jubi on Wednesday, 7 November 2018, that Papua Provincial Government should pay serious attention to this museum.
According to him, if the museum is well-managed, it would become the arts and cultural centre of Papua Province. Further, It should accommodate all culturally related activities, ideas and creative works of Papuan tribes. “It would become an entrance for people to get to know Papua,” he said.
He further asked the Cultural Office of Papua Province to have a partnership with all parties to revive the activities and art performance in this art centre and museum. “Don’t think it only belongs to civil servants, but everyone who has talent,” said Pekei who’s also the Director of Papua’s Ecology.
He took the Noken museum which built several years ago as an example. “The Ministry of Cultural and Education handed over the management of Noken Museum to Papua Government, and the government then assigned it to the Noken Papua Foundation. However, it’s not clear for the Expo-Waena Museum,” said Pekei.
Expo-Waena Museum and Arts Centre was established in the 1980s and the late 1990 and used as a location for development exhibitions in Papua in the 1980s and late 1990s. In 2013, the building was planned to be restored and became the office of Papua People’s Assembly.
The museum has nine main buildings including pavilions for displaying the cultural artefacts of Jayapura, Manokwari, Biak, Jayawijaya, Merauke, Nabire, Serui, Sorong, dan Fakfak. It holds more than three thousand collections of ten types of cultural artefacts, historical and ethnographical objects and other art collections.
Sometimes ago a film community Papuan Voice held a discussion and film screening at Expo – Waena Museum and Art Centre. However, now the museum neglects. Some local artists think it should not happen due to its contribution to the local artists to express their creativity. This place should be well-maintained.
“If talking about art and culture, local artists could not be separated with this place,” said the Secretary of Papuan Arts Council Septinus Rumasep to Jubi in an occasion.
Meanwhile, the Papuan parliament member John N. R. Gobay said the museum and art centre is a crucial asset that has forgotten. This art centre has not occupied since 1996.
“It’s an asset of Papua Provincial Cultural Office. It reflects the Papuan culture and identity. We cannot talk about a nation whose cultural identity is destroyed,” said Gobay who was a former Chairman of Paniai Customary Council.
Moreover, he said the Expo-Waena Art Centre must have art shops that selling traditional souvenirs, cafes, and a library that provides books about Papua. Thus, this will become a cultural centre of Papua. Therefore, he asked the Papua Provincial Government to revitalise it.
“The government should relocate people living near the museum. The government is responsible for protecting the local culture through this art centre. Therefore the regulation No. 8 could be implemented,” he said.
He also appealed the artists to establish an advocacy team and plan a meeting with the governor and parliament member for the revitalization of museum and art centre. “I asked the provincial government to support this by clearing the complex of museum and art centre in Jayapura City,” he said.
Meanwhile, a Papuan artist Semi Simson said the Papua Provincial Government do not pay attention to this museum since long time ago. They must revive this complex as Papuan cultural centre. (*)
Native languages of Jayapura Municipality threatened with extinction
Jayapura, Jubi – Some local or native languages in Jayapura Municipality threaten to be extinct if not immediately protected.
“There are many native Papuan languages in Tanah Tabi (Jayapura Municipality), namely Sentani, Nafri, Tobati Enggros, Kayu Pulo and Skouw languages. In general, except for Sentani language, the sustainability of these languages is quite apprehensive,” said Suharyanto, a senior researcher from the Indonesian Language Center of Papua and West Papua on Friday (05/10/2018) in Jayapura City.
Moreover, he said the Indonesian Language Center for Papua and West Papua Area had research on Nafri and Tobati Enggross languages in Jayapura Municipality in 2003 and 2004.
“In the case of Nafri language, if there is no serious action taken by speakers and the state, it is estimated that in the next three generations this language would become extinct. It is similar for Tobati Enggros and Kayu Pulo languages,” he said.
Meanwhile, regarding Kayu Pulo language, although it has not been studied yet, but based on the proximity of the place and the number of speakers, it can be concluded also be threatened with extinction.
The endangered of these three regional languages, he continued, is related to the decline in the number of speakers, its locations, the use of language and people’s assimilation.
Furthermore, Suharyanto said a solution to protect the native languages in Tanah Tabi is to include it in some learning materials in schools. “The municipal government has initiated an effort to protect the local languages by preparing the local content teaching materials or books to be taught at the elementary schools,” he said. (*)
Editor: Pipit Maizier
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