Raja Ampat has an archipelago located in West Papua. There is a lot of potential for marine culture in the Raja Ampat archipelago. It is because of the fantastic beauty of the waters. The diversity of this island provides its value from the traces of environmental and cultural civilization. You can find a lot of things from the islands of Papua. Here is the info.
About Raja Ampat
Raja Ampat has land and sea areas with 4.6 million hectares. Its geographical location is at the northeastern part of Indonesia’s traffic flow entrance. The water sea stream significantly from the Pacific Ocean to the Indian Ocean. So, this region has four major islands – Waigeop, Salawati, Misool, and Batanta. The existence of four large islands lined up from north to south of Papua.
Some of the people in Papua live in an aquatic environment because of geographical location. All economic activities, social interactions, and culture are from the sea. In other words, the Raja Ampat region has three main characteristics, namely geography, which makes a strategic position for Melanesian and Austronesian cultures. Also, it contributed to the earliest kingdom in Papua’s history.
Furthermore, West Papua has diplomatic value in terms of tourism and education. It makes Raja Ampat so rich in terms of cultural, tourism and historical potential. At the same time, regarding archeological remains, there are many relics in the southern Waigeo area, in the form of old mosques, Chinese tombs, Islamic dishes, and fragments of Chinese and European ceramics.
The evidence has become a symbol of diversity in Papua. However, instinctively, humans take advantage of the natural environment to be exploited. So, community life on the sea coast will take advantage of marine data sources to support their needs. Many community groups inhabit the coastal area of Raja Ampat.
The Raja Ampat region has more significant potential from a maritime perspective because its territory is an archipelago. Its strategic location makes it possible to be a shipping and trade route. It also allows the existence of archeological remains that play a role in the history of human life from prehistoric times to colonial times.
Diversity in the Coastal Region of Raja Ampat
1. Boat Rock
One aspect that includes maritime in West Papua is rock art in caves. You can find a boat-shaped rock image on the cliff wall of the Fafag Site in the Kabui bay area, Waigeo Island. This white boat image is located at the bottom of a cliff, 75 cm from sea level. The depiction of the boat tends to be elongated like a dimple, and the back has a sloping position.
At the same time, there are human figures, geometric figures, crocodile circles, lizards, and vine motifs around the picture of the boat. You can see other rock image findings in the form of a ship on the island of Misool (Kampung Tomolol). There are two rock drawing sites – the Lenmakana site and the Tomolol cave site.
2. Traditional Boat
The Waigeo Island area has two types of boats for daily activities by the community. Coastal communities tend to use the kind of boat with a cover that resembles the roof of a house. It is usually made of woven sago leaves, and the basic shape of the ship comes from a tree. Also, local people use tree species such as forest nutmeg, gupasa, salawaku, betel wood, nani, and onion trees.
The boat’s characteristics in West Papua have counterweights on both sides called the semang. Each part is tied with a rope made of rattan. If you want to find this type of boat, you can visit Arborek Village. Unlike the people who live in the bay area, they tend to use boats in the shape of a mortar and rely on the use of oars.
3. Coastal Village
The coastal village is located on the island of Misool, which is known as Yellu village. This community settlement is available on the coast of a small island with houses on stilts standing above seawater. In addition, these villages tend to be lined up on the right and left to follow the road facilities made of wooden planks.
Community villages in coastal areas have poles that are plugged into the water. Also, the stage construction is made of sago leaf or Nipah leaf midrib. The floor material uses wooden boards, and the roof is made from woven sago leaf midribs. In other words, the lives of coastal communities cannot be separated from environmental influences.
4. People’s Pier
The people’s pier is at the mouth of the Waisai River, Waigeo Island. West Papua. This pier is a means of harboring the boats of the surrounding community. This pier environment is close to the people’s market easy to access. Even so, the width of this river reaches 25 meters whose water conditions depend on the riverside.
The exciting thing in Raja Ampat is the discovery of boats known from ancient times until now. People in Raja Ampat take advantage of their ability to interact with the environment. This phenomenon also affects interactions with outsiders and communities in the Raja Ampat region. It signifies that maritime culture has an impact on acculturation in Raja Ampat.