Facing Extinction: Find Out Some of West Papua Origin Languages

West Papua

Having thousands of islands with the seven biggest among them, Indonesia has rich diversities. Thousands of tribes spread in Indonesia. Each of those tribes has their own native languages. Some of those local languages are still used up until now, but several others are facing extinction because locals no longer use it. 

In Java Island, for example, there are several languages such as Javanese, Tengger, Osing, Sunda, Baduy, and Betawi. While in Sumatra, some native languages they have are Aceh, Batak, Bugis, Melayu, Nias, and Minangkabau. 

Other Indonesia’s big island that also owns a lot of languages is Papua. The Papuan Language Center noted that there were 414 new regional languages ​​in Papua and West Papua Provinces. Below, we’ll give you some of West Papua origin languages

West Papua

  • Aghu

Aghu language, also known as Djair atau Dyair, is used by people in Kenggi, Sikafio, Bigisa, Bana, Waghabang, Kaliwin, Mutiriop, Mariang, Mariori, Anggai, Susu, Ghesi, Yofon, and Duba villages.

  • Abinomn

Abinomn is West Papua origin language that is also known as Avinomen, Baso (no longer used), dan Foia. People who still speak in this language are told to be three hundred people. In this language, mit means I, ni means you, and in means he or she.

  • Airoran

Airoran is spoken in the northern coastal area downstream of the Apauwer River, West Papua, in the villages of Subu, Motobiak, Isirania, and several other villages. People who live on the west bank of the Apauwar river are also speakers of one language group, including Adora, Iriemkena, Sasawa languages, which belong to Airoran language family.

  • Amber

People in Kampung Kawe, West Waigeo District, Raja Ampat Regency, in West Papua Province, speak the Amber language. Based on the results of dialect metric calculations, Amber language has a percentage difference of 81% -100% to other origin languages around them.

  • Amberbaken

This language is called Mpur or Amberbaken (among other names such as Kebar, Ekware, dan Dekwambre). This language is spoken by people who live in Wasarak Village, Amberbaken District, Tambraw Regency. According to Ross, Malcolm (2005), this language is not closely related to any language.

  • Ansus

The Ansus-Papuma language is spoken by the people of Wimoni Ansus and Papuma Villages in West Yapen District. The Ansus-Papuma language consists of two dialects, Ansus dialect and the Papuma dialect. The Ansus dialect is spoken by the locals living in Wimoni Ansus Village, while the locals in Papuma Village speak the Papuma dialect.

  • Arandai

This origin language is spoken by the locals in Kampung Botonik (Arandai), Arandai District, Bintuni Bay Regency. According to the Ministry of Education and Culture, there are less than two hundred Arandai speakers. This language is also spoken in Kampung Kandarin, Kecap, Irira, Baru, and Kampung Manunggal Karya.

  • Asmat

Asmat tribes become one of the most popular tribes in West Papua. The Asmat lives on the southwestern coast bordering the Arafura Sea. Asmat languages are classified according to the tribes’ area, which is a coastal area or downstream and upstream.

  • Kaburi

Kaburi language, also known as Awe or Maweyo, is spoken by Papuan who resides in Benawa Village, North Kokoda District, South Sorong Regency. There are approximately three hundreds to almost four hundreds of local speak Kaburi. This language is still spoken by all age groups.

  • Kais

Tribes or locals who live in Kais Village, Kais District, South Sorong Regency, speak this language. Based on the results of dialectometric calculations, Kais language has a difference of 97.25% -100% when compared to the surrounding languages, such as Yahadian-Mugim language, the Kambran language, Mairat language, and Puragi-Saga language.

  • Dani

Besides Asmat, Dani tribe is also one of the most well-known tribes in Papua. A non-governmental organization for the protection of Dani tribal customs and culture has even been established in Wamena. These tribes live in Baliem Valley. Dani language consists of three language sub-families which are the Wano sub-family in Bokondini, the Central Dani sub-family consisting of the Dani Barat accent and the Dugawa valley accent, and also Nggalik’s sub-family.

  • Mantion

Mantion or Manikion language is also known as Sougb or Sogh. Mantion is the Papuan language from the East Doberai language family which is spoken in the Doberai Timuw region, east part of Meyah. This language consists of four dialects and is spoken by more than 12.000 locals.

  • Tobati

For Papuan who lives in the area around Jayapura Bay, near Jayapura City and the villages of Tobati, Enggros, Entrop, and, Kota Raja, they use Tobati language. Because Tobati is not spoken at work or school, the use of this origin language keeps decreasing especially by school-age children.

Besides the twelve languages above, West Papua has many other origin languages. Let’s just hope that these traditional languages will not be gone because they play roles as the assets of the country’s wealth.

1 Trackback / Pingback

  1. How Kokoda Tribe Helps To Tackle Environmental Issues in Papua

Comments are closed.