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Extinct, five local languages in Papua



Head of Papuan Language Office Toha Machsum open a seminar “Caring for Diversity through Literature” April 21 – Jubi /Roy Ratumakin

Jayapura, Jubi – Five local languages ​​in Papua Land are extinct according to Language Mapping Coordinator of Language Center at Papua and West Papua Province Yohanis Sanjoko. The five languages ​​are Tandia (Bay of Wondama), Mapia (Supiori District), Safoni (Waropen), Bonerif (Mamberamo Raya), and Wario (Waropen).

“Of the four, the Tandia language is no longer spoken and it is estimated that local people also do not use language. For the local language of Mapia only spoken by one person, but the data was taken around 1990s,” he told Jubi at his office on Wednesday (3/5/2017).

From the data of 2016, the local languages ​​of Safoni and Bonerif are only spoken by four people. The language of the Wario region has only spoken by five persons.

The extinction of the regional language, according to Sanjoko is due to the factor of society attitude of the spoken language.


“The owners of languages ​​or ancestors do not pass on their local language to their people or their children, so it is eroded by the entry of other languages,” he said.

It is said, with the extinction of the five regional languages ​​he expected to government through the Department of Education and Culture should be more active in disseminating awareness to the public on the importance of maintaining the local language so as not to extinct.

“The education starts from adults to their children, the parents should be more active in providing language-related lessons and at least using the local language at home for communication, so the children can understand that in addition to Indonesian language they also have their own mother languages, “he said.

There are 372 local languages in Papua and West Papua Provice according to 2016 data.

Prior to that, the Expert Staff of the Minister of Education and Culture of the Center for Regional Relations, Dr. James Modouw to Jubi said, local language education is important for school-age children so that the languages ​​are not marginalized by other outside cultures.

Six are threatened with extinction

Meanwhile, of the six regional languages ​​spoken in Jayapura City, one of them is threatened with extinction because it only spoken by very few people.

According to Sanjoko one of the regional languages ​​that are threatened with extinction is the language of Kayu Pulo. While other five languages: Tobati, Nafri, Skouw, Nyau, and Elseng are considerably saved.

He said in order to measure how the local languages potentially strong or threatened with extinction are based on certain evaluation. They include transmission factor, number of conformers, the obedient proportion, the transition, the language response, the availability of teaching materials, attitude of the government, attitude of the language owner, the amount, and document quality.

Sanjoko added that there are six aspects or categories to find out how far the spread of local languages ​​in a region or village.

“Mostly in Papua, one Kampung (village) potentially has different languages to another village ​​or has different dialects. To measure it, we classified them according to category of safe, easy, and stable, besides other category of endangered, critical, and extinct,” he said.

For the Kayo Pulo language fell into the category of endangered because its speakers are only a few people left.

Language examiner of Papuan and West Papua Language Center Ely Maramuri urges parents to have a more important role to instill local languages ​​to their children. (*)

Reporter: Roy Ratumakin

Editor: Zely Ariane

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Arts & Culture

International award for film about journalism in West Papua



16th Pacific Documentary Film Festival in French Polynesia. Photo: FIFO website

Papua, Jubi – A short documentary which highlights the risks of being a journalist in Indonesian-ruled Papua region, or West Papua, has won an international film award.

Aprila, directed by Rohan Radheya, took out the best short film award at the 16th Pacific Fifo Documentary Film Festival in French Polynesia.

The Dutch journalist and film-maker’s documentary tells the story of a young local journalist who stopped doing her job after receiving death threats.

According to Fifo’s website, audience members in Tahiti expressed interest in the insight the film offered into a region and freedom struggle largely unknown to the world.


Mr Radheya said while international attention on Papua often focused on restrictions that Jakarta placed on access for foreign journalists, the plight of local journalists was ignored.

“What we endure as foreign journalists is nothing compared to what local indigenous journalists in Papua are facing,” he said. (*)


Source: RNZ

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Archaeological research to reveal cultural history in Papua and West Papua



Megalithic Tutari site – Jubi

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

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Arts & Culture

Expo – Waena Museum and Arts Centre, the forgotten asset



Expo-Waena Arts Centre – Jubi / google.com

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. (*)

Reporter: Hengky Yeimo
Editor: Pipit Maizier


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