Exploring the Economic Development of the Moi Tribe in Sorong, West Papua

The Moi are the traditional owners of Sorong but are poor or marginalized from education or opportunities to be involved in the social environment. On the other hand, the Moi tribe in West Papua have extraordinary behaviors and traditions as cultural empowerment. That is why this aspect can be a driving force in various fields of life, especially in the economic area. For more information, read below!

Characteristics of the Moi Tribe and Its Environment

The city of Sorong has a strategic location as a trade flow in Papua and a gateway for interaction with the outside world. Even Manokwari and its surroundings make Sorong a transit for goods transportation. This position makes the life of the people around Sorong dynamic. Plus, there are various natural resource exploration activities, starting from mining oil, coal, and marine potential.

The implication is that life in the city of Sorong moves quickly because of its strategic location. However, this condition is not yet ready to be faced by indigenous people who traditionally rely on natural resources. The development in Sorong benefits many parties but, on the other hand, harms the marginalized indigenous Moi people.

For that reason, the Indonesian government’s special autonomy aims to accelerate regional development. In addition, government programs are also trying to increase the participation of the Moi community in West Papua. Although the Moi is the owners of the traditional land of Sorong, the members of the tribe are generally in poverty.

It encourages the collective thinking of Papuans to question their existence as a community. In empowering the local community of the Moi tribe, several problems can be found in terms of community life. Then, it involves a portrait of the development of the city of Sorong to optimize the participation of the Moi Tribe, which has often been marginalized.

In fact, one indicator of the success of regional autonomy in the Sorong area is the high intensity of community participation. It reflects excellent and successful local governance. In addition, this step is also crucial in maintaining and improving the function of enhancing the quality of life of the Moi tribe.

Sorong City Economic Situation

Unveiling Sorong's Potential to Find Alternative for Economic Empowerment  in the West Papua Province | by The Wawawa Journal | Medium

Sorong City has an area of ​​656.64 km2 divided into six sub-districts with 30 villages. Its strategic location is helpful as a trade flow and gateway for West Papua in its interactions with various parties. The population of Sorong City is growing from year to year from the birth rate and the number of people looking for work.

In addition, this also affects the economy of the city of Sorong. Since the Law of the Republic of Indonesia Number 21 of 2001 concerning Special Autonomy for the Papua Province, there have been many changes to obtain rights beyond just special regional autonomy for the people of Sorong. The province is expressly given special authority to develop its economy and social life on that basis.

Sorong’s strategic position makes people’s lives around this area dynamic. The main focus is various resource exploration activities such as coal, oil, and marine potential. Sorong is also a city open to multiple human activities, goods and services and other sectors. It is what maintains the economic growth.

Economic Development of the Moi Tribe in Sorong

Due to the strategic location of the city of Sorong, people’s lives are moving quickly and dynamically. This reality is still contrary to the Moi tribe in West Papua, which still relies on natural resources with traditional management. The perspective and simple agricultural technology make this tribe still in poverty.

Physically, the Moi tribe has the original physical characteristics of having black skin and curly hair. These characteristics are different from other tribes outside this area, namely the Nusa Laut, Saparua, and Seram tribes, who have straight, wavy hair, and white skin. The mixing of natives and migrants allows for the various characteristics of Papuan society.

The Moi’s residence is vast, including Mega, Makbon, Seget southwest of Mosool, Satbat to the North Waigeo Islands. In addition, this tribe lives throughout the Raja Ampat archipelago. These areas are known as the customary law of the Moi tribe, with a mystery that is difficult to find out. So, there are some areas of the Moi tribe that are unreachable.

For this reason, Sorong’s economy is dominated by migrants from outside Papua (Batak, Javanese, Chinese, Bugis and Makassarese). It can be seen from the many stalls in the market with immigrant races. Therefore, an approach is needed to improve the quality of life of the local Moi community. The government tries to develop the economic potential of the Moi tribe.

There are many ways that the government raises the dignity of local people in West Papua. The concept of empowerment provides a frame of reference regarding power and capabilities (social, economic, cultural, political and institutional). It will provide significant benefits to the Moi tribe to develop following increasingly advanced times.

Overall, the main idea of empowerment is related to leadership, namely the ability to get others to move with purpose. In addition, economic empowerment is a means of fostering the growth of local communities to encourage economic actors from the local community. It also protects for the Moi people’s economy to grow significantly.