SAMSOM or SASI TRADITION, PERIOD Of NO FISHING In RAJA AMPAT and PAPUA IN GENERAL
Raja Ampat, is a very popular name for National and International tourists now days. Raja Ampat is so alluring to the extent it is able to steal the attention of many people. Paradise of marine tourism, especially for divers is a nickname for Raja Ampat.
We need to know in addition to the beauty of the natural marine life in Raja Ampat. Raja Ampat has a tradition for generations carried out by tribes living in the Raja Ampat Islands. This tradition can be said a major impact on the aquatic ecosystem in Raja Ampat.
Matbat tribes are tribes in Raja Ampat Islands that can be encountered in Kampung Magey, Lenmalas village, Kampung Salafen, Atkari village, Kampung Folley, Tomolol village, Kampung Kapatcool and Kampung Aduwei. Besides Tribe Matbat we also can find other tribes.
In Salawati island for example, there are Moi Tribe (Moi-Maya), Fiat Tribe, Tepin Tribe, Waili Tribe, Domu Tribe, and Butlih Tribe. In Waigeo Island there are Laganyan, Waiyai Tribe, Kawe Tribe, Ambel Tribe, Biak Tribe, and other tribes such as the Bugis and Buton.
They are tribes who live in Raja Ampat Islands making a deal to preserve the marine environment. In modern world now-days, environmental issues become official conversation and a serious problem for the world. But tribes in Raja Ampat have been reacting from long time ago. Because nature blesses them then they should also take care her.
There is a sort of an agreement in the form of local customs was known by the term Sasi or Samsom. Literally Samsom in Matbat Tribe language means a ban. Samsom tradition is a joint rule that prohibits people in one region within a particular time to do fishing. Samsom ritual held once a year during the period of six to seven months. This Samsom ritual led by community leaders called Mirinyo.
Implementation of ceremonies at the start when a Mirinyo chant addressed to the marine guard. Matbat tribes believe that the marine guard that gives fertility to the sea creatures so that the result will be abundant
Mantras recited at sunrise, Mirinyo standing in front of the village and overlooks the ocean and then stick the sign ban called Gasamsom. Signs prohibiting such as stem with leaves of laurel in the barbershop. Branches and branches left intact to hang Sababete offerings such as cigarettes, betel nut, tobacco, and strip2 red colored cloth. Mirinyo also plug two Gasamsom at the ends of the village and all of them overlooking the sea.
While that prohibition applies and any natives or immigrants forbidden to take marine products until Sasi or Samsom completed. And what happens for some one who breaks the rules? Before he was awarded a penalty in the form of whip and stocks, but now replaced by social jobs which are beneficial for society.
In the tradition of Samsom, they don’t need supervision done by official government, since this is the responsibility of all citizens. Any citizens who see the violation shall report to the indigenous leaders.
They believe when the time comes, will be marked by natural changes like the wind is no longer blowing hard, and then Samsom declared opened or finished. The timing of the end of Samson is in the morning before sunrise and all citizens facing the sea.
Custom head called the king, utters mantras to the guards, the sea dwellers, as well as deceased ancestors. The mantras contains express gratitude for protection during Samsom, thanks for fertility, as well as a request that the residents of the village not affected as long as they only collect seafood. Then Mirinyo blow Skin Triton (a type of clam shells) out loud as a sign Samsom period has ended.
On the first day of the opening Samsom residents who are still healthy and strong, men, women, children descend to the sea, they take the results of such marine shellfish, fish, and other marine creatures. In taking sea creatures, they also have rules like in the first day they are not allowed to take more than the limit specified waters of the coast. On the second day residents can take seafood in the next zone, which is a bit far from the coast. And on the third day, the citizens should take the results of the sea in distant waters.
Matbat tribe is very concerned with the preservation of the marine environment, in fact their main livelihood is farming and look for sago. Samsom tradition can be explained that Matbat Tribe has long-term outlook for uncertain climate change. For that they should be able to live in two worlds, as farmers and sailors as well.
It is a magical islands where the tribes are able to absorb modern knowledge systems, and at the same time also able to maintain a fast local customs or traditions. That’s where changes occur without having to leave their identity.
This traditional nature conservation system, called Sasi or Samsom, has contributed greatly to the preservation of nature in coral triangle at the heart of the wealth of the world’s reefs in Raja Ampat. With this tradition the existence of populations of marine life can be maintained and preserved. Local culture and knowledge of small villages in Raja Ampat Islands is worthwhile to be preserved.
UPHOLDING PARTY TOGETHER In BIAK TRIBE, PAPUA
Tribe Matbay with nature conservation system brings the preservation of marine environment. Now Biak Tribe brings a tradition for generations inherited from their ancestors, by pouring in every motion of their life in a song and feast.
Biak tribal believes that the center of life is party and song they call it Munara or Wor Biak. If some one is invited to take part in the festivities, dancing, and singing, he should come. The presence of an invitee in a Wor shows concern for others, strengthens unity, and also to feel what others feel.
The party is divided into two parts, Wor Sraw which means a small party, and Munara or Wor Veyeren means a big party. Munara or Wor word implies a party. There are 18 small party or Wor Sraw in Biak Tribe and 11 great party Munara or Wor Veyeren.
“Munara Isha vave Oser er mnu kako”. The spirit of togetherness, compassion, and a sense of belonging to the village shows that the estuary or Wor Biak is a way or a local wisdom Biak Tribe to answer all the obstacles in life.
That is why people believe Biak acts upon Wor ceremony will bring fortune and a blessing for the family and the surrounding community. If the system does not live the life and activity of Biak be paralyzed.
SEVEN CLAN IN TOMU VILLAGE, SEBYAR TRIBE, PAPUA
A small village stands on the edge of creeks Gonggo, that is Tomu village, one of the tribes living in the area of Sebyar Bintuni. The village is located in the northern part of the District of Aranday, Manokwari District. To reach the village one must take a boat in about 30 minutes.
According to the story from Sebyar Tribe, there is Mount Prophet, a sacred mountain. One day there was a flood spreading massively to their ??forest and swamp. Every body fled by using bamboo raft to find a new place. In their search, the ancestor of Sebyar Tribe from Kosepa Clan met Nawarisa Clan who invited them to open new fields. This is the meaning of Tomu village, which is a meeting place.
There are about seven clan or tribe who live in the village Sebyar Tomu, namely Kosepa, Kaitam, Efum, Gegetu, Nawarisa, Henna, and Kinder. Seven clans are included in the sub-tribe Dambad. While there are 18 clans of Kembran Tribe they are: Tabyar, Urbon, Prophet, Iribaram, Bauw. Each clan has and recognizes their respective Land Rights.
If somebody is not the owner of the land, and taking sago in it, he shall notify the owner of the clan. If not he will be in customary law. However, there remains the woods along that can be used by the entire clan.
In Tomu each clan works together while taking sago, ceremonies, as well as taking care of the dead and make fishing groups and cooperatives. Likewise, when one of the family members who will be first requests a wedding, this cooperation will be more visible.
TREE HOUSE, AND THE FEAST Of THE HOLY FIRE SAGO WORM. KOMBAY TRIBE – KOROWAY, PAPUA
Kombay Tribe inhabits jungle of Papua in the area Citak Mitak, Mappi which is the border Yahukimo, Jaya Wijaya District, and the District Digoel.
Both Tribes are touted as the last in the stone age tribes that still exist in the world. But it does not mean that the tribe Kombay-Koroway doesn’t interact with the outside world. Many of them have built new settlements in Yaniruma, on the banks of the River Becking, Mu and Basma. There are also living in Mabul, riverside Eiladen and Khaiflambolup.
The Tribe still lives in the jungle. This now becomes a destination for tourists who want to learn to live being one with nature. Small township Kombay – Koroway is not like Kampung. The Tribe, Dania is known as Asmat. They built a unique tree house with a height of 10-30 meters from the ground.
The reason they build tree houses is to avoid from the beast, and also attacks from other tribes formerly. This house was built with an array of wood with rattan ties, and walls with bamboo slats also bark. And the roof of their house using sago leaves. To climb there is ladder straight up right made from logs.
At any given time the community gathers for a party named caterpillar Sago party. This feast serves to tie their brotherhood. This festival also serves to know the family tree and their off spring. Party is done in a long house. In this house they utter gratitude to God they believe that is Refaru God.
The party is conducted for every 5 – 10 years and last overnight. This party is an important event for the Tribe Kombay-Koroway. The party begins by toppling Sago trees. Then smeared with lard and bird on a tree root. While working they are singing and reciting mantras.
After approximately six weeks later it is the time to harvest. Sago worms as big as thumb is collected and taken home, sago wrapped in leaves and tied with rattan. At home sago are wrapped and tied to the center pole that stood in the middle of the party room.
It is no less important in the sago party is the sacrificial fire. The fire is ignited by a man of the family feast. This person is called “fire guard” since it was first turned on the fire and should not be extinguished. Fire is placed in the furnace in the house long, its position right next to the center pole. Only the keeper of the flame to be entered into, the success of Sago Worm Party lies in this important person.
When attending a party-koroway kombay decorate themselves with various accessories, necklaces, earrings made of animal feeding stuffs. After eating sago together, they also make food from sago for their pork, tubers and other plants that become the food of the kombay-koroway tribe. The party was held in order to guarantee survival rate. Far from disruption and disaster, in addition as a momentum returns the spirit of life.
For every tribe in Papua, land is always related to the environment in which they live. They set the time, area, and how the natural process set out in their customary governance. In addition, they also see the interaction among groups and people outside the group. Not only in a ceremony, but in daily life. Those who embrace and uphold the teachings of the ancestors believe fully that the universe needs to be maintained. As a gift and a trustee of the creator. In the end the prevailing culture system formed Papuans’ identity