Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Caving in the Table Mountain with Grietje

Last Saturday, I accompanied Grietje and Ani to Table Mountain. Actually Shanti and Dorthea, volunteers from YAT, also came with Grietje and Ani. But Shanti gave up at the beginning of the hiking so, Dorthea had to go back to YAT before climbing the steep hill leading to the flat top of the mountain  that is covered with big trees of tropical rainforest. I, Nico, Grietje, Ani decided to continue hiking and caving in the Table Mountain. We started our trip in the morning from Xavier bookstore. Besides hiking, we did some caving. It was a challenging experience because at that time Manokwari was in the rainy season. We went to a cave in the north of the Table Mountain, the largest cave where small and large bats live side by side. The  ground of the cave was sticky due to the mud that had been formed for several days during a-one- week rain before we arrived. When I was taking pictures of the flying bats, one of the big bats flew towards me. I thought it was going to hit me but suddenly it turned back and only flying in circle.
I used my digital camera Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W30 to shoot the following photographs. I was not so sure whether the results would be good or not as the interior of the cave was very dark. I set the dial mode to P because based on my previous experience the photo quality was better than the automatic and ISO settings. After they had been optimized in Adobe Photoshop CS3 where I reduced the file size and added some explanation at the bottom of each photographs, I uploaded them to this post. I am satisfied with the result because the images are quite bright.
There are several caves in the Table Mountain of Manokwari. If you are interested in caving, you can contact me. Don't forget to bring boots, apply mosquito repellent lotion, and binoculars (for bird watching). You might also need a hat and a rain-jacket if you go to Manokwari during the rainy season. If you are already in Manokwari, you can call me 081332245180. by Charles Roring
Also read:
  1. Cave exploration inside tropical rainforest of Manokwari 
  2. Photographing bat in a cave 

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Manokwari city dwellers like Football

The following photographs are about football match at Borasi field of Manokwari Papua. I shot them using the digital camera feature of my Nokia cell phone which then have been optimized in Adobe Photoshop CS 3 for web usage. Because I was walking at the time of shooting, the photo quality was not so good. I should bring my Sony digital still photo camera DCS-W30 but I forgot.
There is an office near the Borasi Football Field that sells airplane tickets of Merpati and Garuda airlines. You can buy tickets here for domestic flight to other towns in Papua or to other cities in Indonesia that have direct Merpati flight from Manokwari.
Papuan are very fond of sports. They play footballl. Every year, a number of competitions is held at the soccer field in the Kota area. Here we call it lapangan Borasi. In the photos you can see high school students were playing football in a special competition conducted by Youth and Sport Agency. During this competition, riders stopped their motorcycles along the side walk to watch the match. Whereas drivers of cars could only watched it for a while when the traffic light was red. Participants of this football competition come from various towns within the West Papua province.
Personally, I like jogging or just enjoy walking in the morning along the Panorama weg which is now known as Jalan Brawijaya. So far, this is the best track for jogging and walking especially early in the morning because there are not many vehicles passing by.
Well, if you travel to Manokwari as tourist, you can jog or walk safely at 5 a.m. to 6.30 a.m. After that hours the streets and roads of this city will be busy again as usual. by Charles Roring

Monday, March 22, 2010

Cultural Carnival Along the Main Streets of Manokwari city West Papua

Situated at the western tip of the Geelvink bay, Manokwari city is nowconsidered to be an important hub for artists. Every year between 4 and 6 February, tens of thousands of people gather in Manokwari to participate in a street parade which they usually call Cultural Carnival. It is conducted by the GKI (the Evangelical Christian Church of Papua), in cooperation with the local government, to celebrate the Gospel Preaching Day. Groups of Christian pilgrims and tourists come to take part and see various religious, cultural and art, as well as sports events.
During this time, the main streets of Manokwari city are closed for motorized vehicles to make ways for the carnival participants to express their artistic street performance. If you come to Manokwari in early February you will be able to see this street performances where Papuan show the wealth of their art and cultural diversity in the form of traditional costumes and musical instruments; dancing and singing.
German Evangelists Otto (and his wife), and Geisler landed on Mansinam, a small island that is located in the Dorey bay near Manokwari on 5 February 1855. It was the date when the “civilization” of Papua was claimed to have begun. Although the indigenous Papuan people had developed their own civilization long before 1855, the arrival of these European missionaries and the introduction of “The Word” in a school that they opened in Mansinam was  beginning of the spread of Christianity in Papua and the entering of the indigenous people into the modernity.

Some Tips Before Coming to Manokwari for Watching Cultural Carnival
  • Sometimes, it is wise not to mention Papua as your travel destination when you apply for a visa in Indonesian embassy. Just say that you want to go to Bali, or Jogjakarta (two famous tourist attractions in Indonesia). When you have arrived in Jakarta, you can easily fly to Manokwari by Batavia Air, Merpati Airlines.
  • Domestic flights to Manokwari at the end of January and during February might be fully booked. It is better to contact airline companies several months before this event.
  • Hotels and guesthouses in Manokwari are also full during the early days of February. If you come in a group, please book your room in December or January to make sure that you have secured your accommodation for this February event.
  • After arriving in your hostel, the staff of the hostel will ask you to fill in a form which will be delivered to a police station for getting a Surat Jalan (travel letter) for you. By notifying the police about your presence in Papua, they will be able to locate and provide help and protection if there is an emergency situation that you experience during your visit to Manokwari.  
  • Manokwari is in rainy season during February, don’t forget to bring raincoat.
The events around 5 February are more concentrated in Kwawi area and Mansinam island. Put your digital photo or video camera in watertight plastic bag to ensure that it is safe from corrosive sea water when you go on a trip to the island by water taxi. by Charles Roring

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The sea as the source of art inspiration for Papuan

My review about Mr. Tony Mansiraken Krey a famous Papuan artist from Manokwari. When you go around the Manokwari city, you will see several big concrete statues in public places, various sculptures in government buildings and hotels that most of them were created by him who only lives a simple life. Every day he is called Tonci Krey.
This West Papuan artist is a prominent one - I dare to say. Besides creating artworks in the form of paintings, drawings, and carvings, he writes a lot to record the talents of the people living in this Dorey bay and Geelvink bay of Papua that are historically related to Papuan art and culture. He has written hundreds of pages of articles and draw design styles that belong to tribes in the Geelvink bay. Unfortunately, most of his manuscripts haven't been published waiting for philanthropists to help him fund the publications of his books.

Thonny Mansiraken Krey used to read folk stories in local state owned radio. He says that he writes folk stories and draw motifs, art styles, images, symbols, decoration and ornaments to preserve them for future Papuan generations. In  most of his artworks, he showed how the Papuan islanders are closely attached to marine environment. The sea has been their source of food and art inspiration, the place where they grew up. Although some of his written works have been published by Stichting Duurzame Samenleving Papua Barat (SDSP), many are still in manuscripts. West Papuan people are facing the impact of globalization and population pressure. Rapid development and modernization, as well as interaction with Indonesian from other islands outside Papua will bring deep changes to Papuan cultural values. Before this culture becomes relics, Mr. Krey writes it.
For instance, Mr. Krey said that islanders of Geelvink or Cendrawasih bay do not eat certain species of endangered fish such as dolphins or turtles. They believe that their ancestors were from these fish species. Perhaps, they do not know the theory of evolution from Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace. What they know is that if they eat or kill the fish, their villages will experience misfortunes. This kind of believes or mythology have indirectly protected the endangered marine species from extinction, and maintained the balance of marine ecosystem. His manuscripts will help explain to the “civilized world” how the indigenous people through their local wisdom protect and hand over their precious marine environment to future Papuan generations. In his old age, Thonny Mansiraken Krey still devotes his time creating artworks and writing. If you want to visit or talk to him, here is his address:
Mr. Tonci Krey
Jalan Pasir Putih No. 83 (next to the Ketapang boat terminal)
Kwawi, Manokwari, West Papua
Cell phone: +6281344937392
It is not difficult to meet Mr. Krey. Just ask ojek (motorcycle taxi) to bring you to Pelabuhan Perahu Ketapang in Kwawi area. His house is next to the Ketapang tree. If you still are not sure which his house is, ask the people around and they will tell you where Pak Tonci Krey’s house is. by Charles Roring
Also read:
Papuan Artist Tony Mansiraken Krey
Artist Tonci Krey, Raja Ampat Art and Cultural Festival and the Legend of Flying Dragon

Update Friday, 03 August 2012. Mr. Krey died in a motorcycle accident several months ago. It's a great loss to Papua. 

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Korwar art-style from Geelvink bay by Mr. Asaribab

Korwar art-style developed by Mr. Nico Asaribab (see the photograph on the top right), a prolific artist in Manokwari, is from the Biak tribesmen of Geelvink bay. He lives in Anggrem area just a stone throw away from the beach. As a matter of fact, it is not easy to find his house because it is located in a crowded neighborhood where there are a lot of houses around.
If you come to Manokwari and want to visit him, you can contact me so that I can escort you to meet him or see the map of Manokwari city on page 9 of the Papuan Artists brochure to locate Mr. Asaribab’s residence.
It is not surprising to see that most of his paintings are about the sea, fish and coral reef life. He also paints birds of paradise (Cendrawasih). Mr. Asaribab is from Biak island; so, the wooden carvings that you see on this page are from the Korwar style of the Biak tribe. “What is Korwar?” one the tourists that I guided used to ask. Well, Korwar is the representation of their ancestors.
Because most of the Papuan people have professed Christianity, beginning gradually when German evangelists Otto (and his wife) and Geisler landed in Mansinam island of Papua, they “officially” don’t practice ancestral worship anymore. Even though in reality, to some extend, some Papuan still practice it.
Now, the carving skills of the artists in making Korwar statues are being preserved through the production of souvenirs for foreign tourists. Mr. Asaribab is not alone, he is now helped by his sons. The Asaribabs are real wood carvers. He has attended a number of art exhibitions in such cities as Manokwari, Jayapura and in Jakarta.by Charles Roring

Mr. Awom a carving artist from Manokwari

I met him for the first time in January 2010 when I was walking with Russian tourists who were looking for souvenirs especially the ones that were made of wood. A humble person, that’s my first impression about him.
Actually, I had passed by his house many times but I did not know if he was one of the best carving artists in Manokwari city. It is not difficult to find his house. It is located on Merdeka street next to Suri bakery shop. You can easily recognize his house that is made of wood among many concrete buildings. 
Be careful when you cross the street! His house is located at Jalan Merdeka, a very busy street during the day and night. Make sure the traffic light is red and the pedestrian light is green before you cross the street to his house.
Mr. Awom works for the state owned health agency. And he spends his leisure time carving. He carves not for money but for expressing his love of art. He puts all of his carvings in the living room that is decorated with large Papuan cloth print painting.   Wooden tifa, photo frame, statues, and various reliefs that symbolize human, fish, or even birds of paradise have been created by his highly skilled  hands. His attention to details is excellent.
Mr. Awom does not promote his artworks by putting them in art galleries or souvenir shops in the downtown.
Some souvenir vendors came to his house asking him whether they could buy his artworks and sell them again in their shops but he rejected that idea.

For Mr. Awom, his love of art is a reflection of his love for Papuan nature and cultural identity. So, if you want to get his carvings, you have to meet him personally. He will be very happy to receive foreign tourists who come to his house to buy the artworks that he sells.
Many of the wood carvings have their own cultural stories. For instance, the curved reliefs which decorate the surrounding of a clock on the wall symbolize the waves of the sea. His wooden carvings look perfect if they are installed for interior decoration of any house because they are made of natural material.
When you want to buy his artworks, he is ashamed to mention the price. He is a pure artist, not a businessman. When I was escorting tourists to his house, he liked to ask me to determine the price of his artworks. Give him a better price so that he will be encouraged to produce more beautiful artworks in his old age.
If you love bird watching in the Papuan forest, and have shot a number of photographs about a species of bird that you might not recognize, you can come and talk to him to ask the local name of the bird and its habits. Mr. Awom would explain about the bird to you. In addition, Mr. Awom has a poster of Papuan birds attached on the wall next to the entrance door of his house which you can use to compare your bird photos with them.
Wood carvers in Manokwari are great artists. They create magnificent reliefs and statues by using simple tools. With strong determination Mr. Awom and his friends in this region have been trying to preserve their art styles for future Papuan generations. by Charles Roring

Marice Fonataba - Master of Traditional Cloth Weaving

Marice Fonataba’s house is not far from Paul’s house. Betel nut palm trees decorate the front yard of her house. Mrs. Fonataba is one of the few Papuan women who can make unique souvenirs. She is a hard working Papuan woman who choose a very rare profession, a woven cloth maker. As you can see at the cover of this brochure, she uses simple tools to make beautiful cotton cloth from small size shawls to a large sheet cloth for Papuan wedding dress. For finishing two sheets of shawl, she needs one week. Beautiful ornamented woven cloth has been the favorite souvenirs which many tourists like to try and buy. European tourists prefer to buy the shawls because they can use them during winter time. Mrs. Fonataba also makes bags from plaited pandanus leaves.  When you go to her house that is located at Komplex Missi of Manokwari city, you might be able to see how she weaves cloth or you could ask her to demonstrate how she makes sireo, a traditional skirt made of tiny beads that are mostly used in wedding ceremony by Serui tribes in the Geelvink (Cendrawasih) bay of Papua island.

Mrs. Marice Fonataba knows that she should teach her skills to young Papuan generation in order to preserve one of these important cultural identity. So far she has taught cloth weaving techniques to women in Biak and Serui islands. She also gives short course to Papuan girls on how to make the sireo skirt.
From her skillful hands, numerous handicrafts ornamented with Papuan traditional motifs have been created. This artist can be considered as a senior and respected Papuan woman who inspires other young Papuan generations to work hard for their living and at the same time preserve their cultural identity.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Paul Warere a multi-talented artist

He can draw, paint, sing, carve, and play some musical instruments such as the guitar and tifa (a traditional Papuan drum made of hollow wood and covered with animal skin). For him, art has been an integral part of his life. At the moment, he is drawing a lot of pictures which describe how the indigenous Papuan interact with nature  and their fellow tribesmen. He tries to explain to young Papuan generations how to preserve the natural environment of Papua using the local wisdoms that he present through his paintings and drawings. Some of  his drawings have been printed into beautiful postcards and bookmarks that are now being sold at Xavier bookstore and YAT Losmen.


You can see some of his artworks at painting and drawing gallery of Papuan artists. Paul likes watercolor, a painting media that is difficult to be controlled even by experienced artists. When creating an artwork, he, at the same time, prepares its background story that will later be printed at the back of the postcard. His artworks are strongly rooted in the daily life of the indigenous Papuan people.  For instance, the drawing of a woman fishing at the bank of a small river which you can see above. The woman did not use nylon string and plastic net pocket. She used string that was made of twisted gnetum gnemon’s fiber, a tropical plant whose leaves are delicious vegetable dishes. For the fish hook, she used animal bone.
Besides being an artist, Paul Warere also works as a volunteer forest ranger for Table Mountain which is located behind his home. I often ask him to accompany tourists who want to travel around the Table Mountain to enjoy hiking, bird watching, or caving inside the tropical jungle. There are a number of medicinal plants which can be used to cure malaria, high fever, and other diseases. Paul would be glad to explain about them if you walk with him inside the forest. Paul loves music. He is a member of his campus choir. He studies Financial Management. by travel writer Charles Roring
Also read more my travel stories at: Manokwari Travel Guide Website

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Lucky Kaikatui—an oil painting artist

The first Papuan artist whom we are going to visit is Lucky Kaikatui, master of oil painting. His house is located behind the building of a junior high school). At the foot of the Table Mountain of Manokwari just a few steps away from the rainforest, Lucky built his home there and is making it as his studio and painting gallery. The painting of the birds of paradise in his living room is his first artwork which we will admire when arriving at his doorstep. Many of his paintings are about the birds of paradise that were dancing on the branches of the trees.
He gives special attention to paint birds of paradise because he knows that this is the most threatened species that we all have to protect. Through his paintings, he urges people to stop shooting birds and begin to appreciate them as the natural heritage of the Papuan people. Most of Lucky’s paintings are about the daily livelihood of the indigenous people, the scenery of the traditional villages, landscape and animals. When you have a conversation with him, you will feel how he loves nature and wants to create awareness among his fellow Papuan people to preserve the forest and marine environment for future generations. In 1990s, he traveled and stayed in Jakarta, Jogjakarta and Ubud (Bali) to study modern paintings. When he returned to Papua, he devoted his time painting and teaching youths about art. Also read http://sites.google.com/site/papuanartandculture/home/lucky-kaikatui

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Go Hiking in the Table Mountain

Experience the beauty of tropical rainforest - Situated in the north of Manokwari, Table Mountain has been a good recreational place for city dwellers and tourists who love to go hiking and see the nature of Papuan tropical rainforest.  Hiking is the best way to discover the secret beauty of the “green jewel” of the equator.
My trip to the Gunung Meja starts in the morning from Losmen KAGUM, a small hostel located at the foot of the Table Mountain. Usually, I and some tourists leave for the Table Mountain at 9 a.m.
We will walk along the road that goes to SD Negeri 1 elementary school (formerly known as Klim en Daal during the Dutch period) before entering pathway leading to the Top of Table Mountain.
As we ascend the slope of the mountain, we will see Jati and Eucalyptus Deglupta trees which were planted by the Dutch. Entering the tip of the forest, we will begin to feel a sudden change in air temperature. Under the canopy of the tropical trees, it is cool and fresh. Various kinds of palm trees and other vegetations thrive healthily.
For energetic travelers, the pathway leading to the top of the Table Mountain is a good warming-up trail that stimulates their body to enable them breath more clean air that is good for their health.
The singing of birds and the sound of insects is the best natural music that brings peace and calm in the mind of every nature lovers.
The Table Mountain of Manokwari in West Papua which shelters the primary forest in the middle of the city is a protected botanical park which also serves to educate every body on the variety and abundance of Papuan flora and fauna.

Mushroom
The ground condition of the tropical rainforest of the Table Mountain is wet, humid and full of moisture. It is an ideal growing place for mushroom. During the rainy season, we can find a lot of  species of mushrooms emerging from the top soil, decaying leaves and woods. They are rich of organic nutrients that mushrooms need to sustain their growth. Although mushroom can be found all year round in this forest, the best time to see the mushroom in Papua is during the rainy season which usually begins from December and ends around May. Don’t forget to bring your raincoat if you want to explore the beauty of these soft plants during those months.
 Under the giant trees, the ground receives very little sunlight, mushrooms bloom like other ordinary flowers early in the morning. Some of them even have forms that are similar to coral reef. Green grass and other vegetations cover the ground surface of the Table Mountain keeping the ideal humidity for the mushrooms. Some of them are edible, some have medicinal functions. Most of the edible tropical mushrooms do not have pungent taste as the European truffle do. But they are high in fiber and contain vitamins that are good for our health. If you are interested in eating mushrooms in Manokwari, I advise that you buy them at traditional markets in Sanggeng and Wosi areas of the city. The indigenous Papuan know the ones that are edible and the ones that are not.
Although the Table Mountain is located near the Manokwari city, it is still rich of green plants, thanks to the tougher stand from the local government in keeping it as a protected forest. When we walk at night, we will find some macro and micro fungi that glow in the dark.
The deeper we walk into the jungle, the more we discover its beauty. The Table Mountain of Manokwari has several natural caves which are homes to unique lizards, and night animals such as bats. These animals sleep during the days hanging on the crystal walls of the caves and flying out to find food at nights.

Exploring the Caves
Escorted by our experienced forest guides, we will be able to see these exotic animals and take some pictures of their dwelling places.  Make sure to bring torch to help you navigate inside the caves.
As we walk deeper into the cave, we have to keep silent to let the bats sleep soundly and peacefully. Take the pictures of the animals from safe distance and use the zoom feature of your digital photo or video camera to have a closer look of the bats. If you approach too close to them, bats will be afraid and fly away.
To have better quality photographs or video recordings, check your camera whether it has been set for night or dark shooting. If you don’t know how to set it on your equipment, read the manual book or ask someone who knows how to use such equipment.
The walls and the ground surface of the caves are wet, and slippery. Move slowly and carefully as you explore deeper into the interior of the cave. Respect the animals that live in the cave. Never catch the bats or the lizards as you are only a guest and they are the real host of the cave. 

Bird Watching
Bird watching is a favorite activity which tourists like to do when wandering inside the rainforest of Table Mountain. The perfect time to do bird watching is during sunny days, in the morning and in the afternoon.
The sounds of birds singing and dancing on the branches of the trees are beautiful natural music that is powerful in relieving our mind from workload stress which we usually experience in the city.
Birds usually gather at certain trees that are fruiting. Walk slowly and avoid being seen by them. Hornbill like to eat fruits in a group of six to ten, sometimes more. When flying the waving of their wings sounds like a tornado in a calm forest.
 Use long-distant lenses in your digital photo camera to shoot birds at high trees. In the afternoon before the sunset, big birds such as palm or giant cockatoo will fly back to their nests which are holes in tall and big trees. Before resting in their nests they will sing and play with their friends for a while. This is the perfect time for bird watchers to see them. With the help of our experienced forest guides, bird lovers will be able to see various species of Papuan birds in the Table Mountain of Manokwari. Bird watching in the Table Mountain is a prelude for a more challenging adventure which many tourists can experience when they take hiking tours in Arfak Mountains located on the opposite site of the Dorey bay.

Insect Watching
When we walk through the tropical rainforest, we will see various insects from the ground up to the leaves of branches and twigs of trees.
Tourists from outside of Papua should apply mosquitoes repellent lotion on the skin of their hands, neck, and other open areas both in the body and legs.
Insects are an integrated component of tropical rainforest ecosystem. You might have watched on television that bees and butterflies play very important role in the pollination of plants. This also applies to  wild flowers in the forest. 
Spiders patiently build their net to catch other small insects flying around.
When doing insect watching, be careful not to be bitten by ants or be stung by bees. Insects are small and fragile, make sure that you will not hurt them.
If during an observation you see an insect is being threatened by its predators, please do not interfere as it is the natural occurrence that always happen everyday inside the rainforest.
What tourists must do is to minimize the impact of their presence inside the forest.
For observing small insects, you may need a loop to enlarge their visual appearance. Photographing small insects from closer distance needs special technique. If your digital camera has been set to auto-focus, you will be able to shoot pictures which will result in good quality photographs. But if you have known your device well, you can set it to macro view that is more suitable to shoot objects like small insects in closer distance.
Humidity is very high in tropical rainforest. Only around 5 percent of sunlight reaches the ground. This makes it an ideal place for insects to live. Butterflies, beetles, grasshoppers and mosquitoes, can easily be found among green vegetations in the Table Mountain of Manokwari. Collecting insects for research purposes in the tropical rainforest is not recommended except if you are a professional entomologist. by Charles Roring

Monday, March 8, 2010

Grietje and Her Parents Visited Manokwari Artists

Yesterday (8 March 2010), I escorted three Dutch tourists traveling around Komplex Missi and Kota area visiting the local Papuan artists in Manokwari. First, we went to Mr. Lucky Kaikatui whose home is located at the foot of the Table Mountain, another great attraction for foreign tourists who want to see and experience the magnificent beauty of the rainforest.
While in Lucky's house, the tourists saw some beautiful oil paintings in large sizes. One of them was the painting of birds of paradise. Lucky explained how he loves to paint using oil painting as based media to depict the beauty of Papuan natural environment, its flora and fauna.
After sitting and talking with the artist for around 20 minutes, we continued our trip to Paul Warere, a close friend of mine who is a multi-talented artist. Paul can draw or paint using paper and tree bark as his media. He can also carve wood to make beautiful statues. When we were in Paul's home, he showed us some of his drawings which symbolized the communication language of the indigenous Papuan people when they had not known any written language. I told them that Paul was the one whose artworks have been photographed and printed as postcards that are now being sold by my Xavier bookstore and by YAT Losmen. We were not long in Paul's house because we had to visit other Papuan artists. We left Paul's home and continued our walk to Mrs. Fonataba's house. While we were walking through a football field, Papuan children were shouting at us, "Mister, Mister, Hello Mister." Everybody - no matter man or woman will be called "mister". Grietje and her parents just smiled and greeted these nice children.
Arriving at Ms. Fonataba's house, I shouted, "Selamat Sore, Mama" meaning "Good Afternoon, Mother?" several times but no one answered my call. Ms. Fonataba's neighbor said that she had gone to Sorong to attend her son's graduation ceremony.
The sun was nearly set in the West when we visited a tomb of a Catholic priest next to a nun's house which is in local term, we usually call Biara. The priest was murdered during the World War II.
Then we continued walking to visit some Papuan artists in Kota area (downtown). We went to Mr. Awom's house, an experienced wood carving artist. There Gietje's father (Theo) bought a tifa (a traditional Papuan drum). It has not been covered with leather sheet and we asked Mr. Awom if he could cover it the next day.
Our walk that afternoon was very tiring. We arrived at Mr. Nico Asaribab's house at around 6 p.m. He was not there. His son had to call him. Ten minutes later, he arrived at his home and the Dutch tourists were able to talk with him. They bought a bag (made of tree bark) and a wooden carving.
It was a tiring journey but nice experience because we could see little Manokwari from the perspectives of Papuan artists. They (Grietje's father and mother) would leave Manokwari for the Netherlands on Thursday and I hope that they really enjoy their trip in Papua and tell nice stories about this island to their friends and colleagues. Grietje is a Dutch volunteer who works for SDSP/YAT Losmen in Manokwari of West Papua in an effort to empower the local indigenous Papuan so that they can enter the modernity with courage, and confidence without having to abandon their cultural identity. by Charles Roring
Also read:
Manokwari Travel Stories
A Visit to Raimuti Island of Manokwari Papua

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Yospan Dance in Manokwari Papua

I captured this video on 6 February 2010. There was a cultural carnival in Manokwari at the time celebrating the Gospel Preaching Day. The dancers in this video performed Yospan. Yospan stands for Yosim Pancar. It is a popular dance among Papuan youth that was introduced by tribes living around the Cendrawasih bay or Geelvink bay.

If we see from the video above, it seems that the costumes had been modified with the application of more modern clothes' material which is cotton. The cultural carnival in Manokwari is conducted every year and has become a major tourist attraction.

Video of Manokwari Cultural Carnival

The following is the Cultural Carnival video in Manokwari of Papua which I captured using my mobile phone on 6 February 2010. The Papuan women, wearing rumbai-rumbai skirt accompanied by tifa (drum) players performed traditional dance on Merdeka street (formerly known during the Dutch era as Fanindiweg). This event was carried out to celebrate the Gospel Preaching Day on 5 February.

During the cultural carnival tens (or even hundreds) of thousands of people from Papuan cities, towns and villages gathered along the main streets of Manokwari city to participate or to watch the carnival.

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