DOLPHIN IN RAJA AMPAT

Lumba Lumba edited

 

Seventy percent of the world’s reefs are in Raja Ampat, West Papua. It means, when diving in Raja Ampat, one can literally see 70 percent of the world’s coral.

Therefore, no wonder if Raja Ampat is famous for diving worldwide.

Raja Ampat is the heart of the world’s coral triangle. So the sea of Raja Ampat has such a diverse marine life including whales, dolphins, dugongs, turtles, and more. More specifically, in addition to whales, dolphins, and sea lions, Raja Ampat has five species of sea turtles, rays, unique sharks Wobbegong and Kalabia or walking shark and sea horse. There are 15 species of endemic fish, shellfish up to 699 types, up to 1427 types of reef fish and 553 types of hard corals.

Not surprisingly, people’s livelihood is fishing in Raja Ampat. However, local communities have local knowledge for taking fish using nets to preserve the ocean. With underwater wealth owned by Raja Ampat, the district is visited by tourists diving enthusiasts. Raja Ampat consists of four large islands namely Wageo, Misol, Batanta, and Salawati, and has more than 1,000 small islands which keep the diversity of flora and fauna such as 540 species of corals and over 1,000 species of reef fish and 700 species of molluscs.

One animal that is man’s best friend is a dolphin. Dolphins are mammals that cosmopolitan, so almost in every hemisphere, there is a group of these intelligent mammals. Dolphins are spread evently in the waters of Raja Ampat. These mammals are also commonly found in the South Waigeo, Misool, Batanta and others.

Dolphins can be seen every day. Especially when traveling from Sorong to Raja Ampat, tourists can see the dolphins in the waters off. Besides, all the way to the Gulf of Kabui we will see a group of dolphins playing in the open sea. Dolphins can also be encountered in all areas of Raja Ampat.

All this natural wealth become tourist attraction. Raja Ampat Doberai Eco Resort is strategically located in the entrance of the Kabui bay. It is an added value for foreign guests to be able to see the dolphins playing in front of the resort area. Raja Ampat Doberai Eco Resort also offers travel package such as bird-watching tour with a view of paradise endemic, diving, snorkelling, and cruise tourist village.

 

DIVE WITH TURTLE IN RAJA AMPAT

Kura kura edit

 

Tortoises and turtles is a four-legged animal and still belong to reptiles family. This kind of animal called Testudinata (or chelonians) is distinctive and easily recognizable by their ‘home’ or shell (bony shell), which is hard and stiff.

Turtle shell is composed of two parts. The top of the back cover is called carapace and the bottom (ventral, stomach) is called plastron. Then each part is composed of two layers. The outer layer is generally in the form of scales, large and hard, and arranged like tiles; while the inner layer in the form of plates of bone are compact like shell.

Exceptions are those of labi-labi (Trionychoidea) and the type of leatherback turtles, the outer layer and replaced no scaly skin layer on the outer shell of bone.

Raja Ampat is the perfect tropical paradise. Warm sunshine combined with scenery, white sand beaches of fine, swaying coconut trees and crystal clear sea that changes color from green to cobalt blue. Underwater life here is exceptional, you will find turtles, dolphins, manta rays, dugongs, barracudas and others.

Turtles in Raja Ampat sea are usually turtle beak parrot. This is because the shape of the tapered mouth resembles a bird’s beak parrot. The characteristics of these turtles with a carapace sized round 28-31 cm (males) and 20-25 cm (females). Equitable distribution area is within all territorial of Raja Ampat sea.

Not much is known about the natural behavior of these turtles. These turtles are a diurnal animals spend more time at sea and only switch to ground when night to rest and perform marriages.

Attraction of turtle is also a mainstay of Raja Ampat Doberai Eco Resort. Raja Ampat Doberai Eco Resort, fortunately located in Urai island, becomes one of the area for turtle in Raja Ampat sea. Foreign guests can see turtles swimming around lazily

In keeping with the eco system of marine habitats, Raja Ampat Doberai Eco Resort invites all the guests to be able to maintain and preserve the marine habitat by not littering into the sea. Raja Ampat Doberai Eco Resort also makes tour for guests to the village nearby. One of the efforts made by Raja Ampat Doberai Eco Resort in maintaining and preserving the ecosystem is to encourage both local and foreign guests not to disturb and damage the surrounding environment.

 

NOKEN AS TRADITIONAL BAG OF RAJA AMPAT

Tas noken

 

Camshaft or tote is a cultural heritage that is very famous from Raja Ampat, Papua. This tote is made and has been passed down from generation to generation in Raja Ampat people.

Noken generally are used by people of Papua to bring agricultural products such as vegetables, tubers and also merchandise to their local market. Nokens is made from tree bark fiber Manduam, Nawa tree or forest orchids woven and knitted into yarn tote. However, along with the times, camshaft also made of knitted yarn colorful mattress. Its size also varies, there are small, medium, and large sizes. Most motifs contain elements of indigenous Papuan noken.

Large nokens are used to carry items such as firewood, crop yields, grocery items, or even used for carrying children. While the small size is used to carry personal items. The unique thing is nokens also functioned as a gift for guests and used in ceremonies in Raja Ampat society.

How to use this bag is unique, by hanging in front of head (forehead) and hang it back towards body back over shoulder. In addition to the amount that can be worn, some women even bring more than one camshaft hung around her neck. Usually this noken nested on the back so as not overlapping and weight.

What is interesting about this is the only Papuans are allowed to make nokens. The making of noken itself could symbolize the woman’s maturity. Because if the Papuan women can not make nokens she can not be considered as an adult and it is also requirement for marriage. And the way of making this bag is inherited from generation to generation.

Another interesting point of this traditional bag is that only women are allowed to make. Papuan women who have not been able to make noken often considered immature and not ready to be married. Why men should not make these? Since the camshaft is a symbol of fertility source womb of a woman.

Since December 4, 2012, noken was decided as a world cultural heritage by UNESCO in France by Arley Gill as Chairman of the Committee, which aims to protect and preserve the culture of Papua. And is used by 200 tribes in Papua as a multi-functional bag.

This is the pride of the people from Papua not to be inferior to people from other areas. This cultural heritage continues to be preserved and cared for by the people of Papua to be the intangible cultural heritage and is expected will not extinct by the younger generation.

Raja Ampat Doberai Eco Resort provides package tour to a nearby village to invite local and foreign guests to see closely the process of making those camshaft bags. Besides, Raja Ampat Doberai Eco Resort also provides training in Wawiyai village for housewives on how to make souvenir such as photo frames from shells, mirror frames and others. This is one of many ways Raja Ampat Doberai Eco Resort contributes to maintain the local culture from Raja Ampat, Papua.

 

KATINGTING, TRADITIONAL BOAT FROM RAJA AMPAT

beach edited

Raja Ampat in West Papua Province is known as a natural marine paradise for the last 10 years. Today, indigenous peoples there are struggling to strengthen their sovereignty over the waters, containing the natural biological wealth that can be exploited by their children and grandchildren in the future.

From the economic standpoint, the local fishermen have only traditional fishing gear and also using traditional paddling boat or at best to use a very small motorized machine.

Producing traditional boat is becoming a side business for local residents, since fishing and transportation on the sea are vital to the local community. Motorized boat industry became the economic backrest when fishermen had a bad season. Motorized boats including the types of catamarans boats – one of the traditional type of boat in Raja Ampat.

These boats can be found in various regions Raja Ampat. Although they are available in many places, but each region in Raja Ampat has its peculiarities in terms of form and technique of production. Ketinting have a standard length of 8 meters and a width of 60 centimeters. These boats are generally made from whole chunks of tree matoa perforated and shaved so that it becomes part of the boat hull. Matoa tree grows naturally in Raja Ampat. Once the hull is completed, manufacture of boats followed by making both ends of the tapering. On either side of the boat, fitted with outrigger, which is a framework of bamboo which makes the boat remains balanced in facing onslaught of waves and wind at sea Raja Ampat.

In Raja Ampat, aerodynamic shapes create a reliable long-tail boat to face the fierce seas. Although more fishermen use ketinting for fishing in shallow sea, or take tourists that are not far from the mainland.

One example of indigenous peoples in Raja Ampat is Wawiyai village. It is a small village that is entered in the District of South Waigeo, Raja Ampat, West Papua Province. The livelihoods of people are partially cutting wood for sale in town, working at the pearls company, fishing and forest gardening. Transport equipment they use for all work activities are small boats they called katingting.

They are very friendly and welcoming to newcomers. Small boat which they call the ‘long-tail / body’ is a kind of transportation from village to village. Width not exceeding waist adult size and can only be filled by five people. Katingting is very easy in use, small children, adults and the elderly can be easily used. For them making katingting is easy, it can be made in just 2 weeks.

One of the means of transportation used also by Raja Ampat Doberai Eco Resort is a ship body / katingting. Small vessel was purchased from Wawiyai community and used to patrol the island mobility around the resort area. To introduce katingting to foreign guests, Raja Ampat Doberai Eco Resort makes traditional fishing package using katingting. Many things that we must learn from the wisdom of local culture. Raja Ampat Doberai Eco Resort invites guests both local and overseas to be able to maintain and preserve the marine eco-system culture in Papua especially Raja Ampat.

 

TRADITION OF EATING SIRIH PINANG IN RAJA AMPAT

Sirih Pinang

 

Pinang or Areca Nut, Latin called Areca catechu, it is not something new for Indonesian. Pinang stemmed from Malacca (Malaysia) have entered Indonesia BC. There are sources that say Pinang entered in the 6th century BC, but some sources say in the 4th century BC Pinang already in Papua.

Areca nut is a type of palm tree that is in Hindi this fruit called Supari, and Pan-Supari to call betel-nut. Malaysian named it Adakka or Adekka, being in the language of Sri Lanka known as Puikiuivak. Thai society called it Mak, and the Chinese call Pin-lang.

Pinang or Areca Nut is a symbol of good character inherited from good ancestor, honest, and has a high degree of live. Further more, it symbolizes willingness to do a job with an open hearted and sincere. This meaning is drawn from the nature of areca nut trees that are tall straight up and have a dense fruit in cluster.

Areca Nut in relation to the culture of Indonesia is the Indonesian people’s habits for “menginang” means chewing Areca Nut. The complete mixture of areca nut are lime, betel nut and gambier. Some people often add tobacco to have extra bit of taste. Chewing areca nut will make lips red. Chewing areca nut make teeth stronger, and create the effects of addiction just like smoking cigarettes.

For the elderly, sometimes difficult to chew areca nut, so they usually crush it finely with a mortar before chewing it. Almost the same with cigarettes and snacks, chewing areca nut can be done anytime from morning until evening. Chewing areca nut give incredible sensation in the tongue of the lovers.

The habit of chewing areca nut has penetrated into Indonesia through various regions from Sumatra, Java, Kalimantan to Papua. However, due to the effect that cause lips and saliva become red, more over it doesn’t look neat, especially with the presence of cigarettes and snacks, then chewing areca nut is gradually eroded.

Chewing areca nut, is just like smoking cigarette or drinking coffee or tea, cause tremendous effect for the people. In Papua even worse, since children 5 years of age have been able to do so, even though in other parts of Indonesia such as Borneo, Sumatra, Java, chewing areca nut usually only done by elderly.

In addition to the pleasure effect of chewing areca nut, there are also other benefits of doing this habit.

In the ancient times, chewing areca nut can be used as a tribute to someone, for instance; so if there is a visit, areca nut is given in welcome ceremony.

Areca nut can also be used as a dowry, some are merely as an introduction to speak, as a binder relations before marriage (engaged) or as a traditional medicine. Not surprisingly, in the Indonesian ancient times people really liked areca nut and considered areca nut as something very special.

Areca nut will not be for chewing without adding it with lime, betel and gambier. Why do so, let us see how it actually philosophy of chewing nut tells:

– Betel

Is a tropical plant, grown in Madagascar, East Africa, and the West Indies. Betel are also available in Peninsular Malaysia. There are four types of betel, namely betel Malay, Chinese betel, Keling betel, and Shrimp betel. In Indonesia, known as various names such as betel nut types Branch, Be, Bed, Siyeh, Sih, Camai, Kerekap, Feeling, Chili, Jambi, Kengyek, and crust.

Betel, said to symbolize humility, giving, and always praise for others. This meaning is interpreted from the way of climbing betel grows on rack, tree trunk or trunk fires without damaging the rod or anything where he live. In biological terms is called symbiosis of something. Betel leaves are dense and lush provide shade around it.

– Limestone

Obtained from the processing of oyster shell or limestone burning. Physically, clean white color, but can destroy their chemical reactions. Chalk white symbolizes the heart and sincere, but if circumstances force, he will become more aggressive and angry.

– Gambir

Gambir also is a plant that is found in Southeast Asia, including in the family Rubiaceae. The leaves are oval or oblong, and the surface slippery. Gambier flower gray. Gambier is also used as a drug, among others, to wash and scald burns, preventing diarrhea and dysentery, as well as moisturizing wounds in the esophagus. Gambir has a slightly bitter taste, symbolizes courage. This meaning is derived from the color of the leaves are yellowish gambier and requires a certain processing to obtain the juice, before it can be eaten. Hence, if you aspire to something, we have to wait the process to achieve it.

By eating a bunch of betel nut and lime, is a symbol of hope for a man who is always humble and calm like betel. Fastidiously clean, sincere but aggressive like chalk. Honest, heartfelt and sincere as nut trees. And if it means added gambier heart patient and steadfast like the gambier. all of which must be in blended as one that fits, should really be mixed with the right to produce a delicious flavor.

To preserve the culture of eating betel and areca eating prohibition against rules, in Papua then some artists traditions and village communities in West Papua try to repeat the past painting technique by using spit betel work. These works are poured on the wall, bark, cloth, paper, and wood beams.

A sculpture artist from Papua Barat, Isaiah Major of Cultural Art Gallery Koranu Fyak, Raja Ampat, also have tried using saliva nut to various forms of motive over bark, paper and palm leaves. Lanjar Jiwo, and artist from Sorong, together with tribal communities in the mountains Tamrau Maybrat been incised spit betel nut as a natural dye in Karwar home made sculptures. While villagers Waifoi and Warimak, District Mayalibit Bay, Raja Ampat try spitting betel nut on paper and cloth.

As word of the ancestors in Papua “menginang” contains a thousand meanings, if they know the meaning of life which would be close to perfect”.

Raja Ampat Doberai Eco Resort also maintains the habit as respect to local culture. Raja Ampat Doberai Eco Resort is located on an island filled with various types of plants that grow providing a distinct advantage for the manager of the resort to be easy to introduce foreign guests regarding the culture of chewing areca nut to show the types of plants that are used.