The Moile, Team, and Urwam Tribes are the main groupings or clumps into which the Hatam Tribe divides.
The Hatam Tribe in West Papua and Their Farming Activities
Hatam Tribe in West Papua depends on natural resources to survive, just like the inhabitants of Papua. They rely significantly on the woodlands and rice fields they farm for their livelihood.
They employ most of these natural resources for economic activities necessary to fulfill their daily requirements, as opposed to using them for collective benefit or commercial purposes. However, some Hatam tribes also engage in communal economic activity when the subsistence economy covers their fundamental requirements.
Hunting, Collecting, and Farming are Their Means of Survival
Additionally, there is an oil palm farm nearby where some employees are migrants from Java. By including cocoa trees in their gardens, the Hatam tribe coexists with them. They hunt, collect, and do subsistence farming to make ends meet.
They grow cassava, beans, bananas, chilies, and other agricultural items. People in other tropical climes who typically also make a living as traditional farmers have been engaged in these pursuits for thousands of years.
Hatam Tribe in West Papua continues to primarily cultivate their land using shifting cultivation with a one-year rotation cycle. In addition to farming, they hunt for “flesh” animals that may provide their demand for protein. They used to hunt with dogs, but after the 1960s, they switched to air guns. The Hatam Tribe doesn’t hunt Cenderawasih birds very much, however.
The Hatam Tribe in West Papua doesn’t Harvest Everything at Once
The word “harvest season” is more often known as “where to move” or “jainstabak.” They don’t harvest everything at once. They check to see if the fruits or vegetables are ready for harvest (gradually). Typically, spinach is the first vegetable they harvest. Three months after planting, they prepared to reap the spinach.
The spinach is often harvested in the morning, afternoon, or nighttime. Without using any equipment, people often select the spinach by hand and then place it in the Noken to take home or share with neighbors if there is an excess.
The Division of Tasks Or Roles
The division of labor or responsibilities between men and women is necessary for these farming operations. Typically, the men clear the fields, chops wood branches, clean up the leftover dried twigs and leaves, and use dedaunan (leaves) charcoal as fertilizer to plant on freshly opened areas.
The women’s group is in charge of clearing away the last of the leaves and twigs, planting crops, caring for the plants, and gathering the harvest from the fields, which includes sweet potatoes, primary vegetables, bananas, and sugar cane.
As explained earlier, the farming system they apply is very traditional. They usually carry out the activities of tillage, soil maintenance, and plant maintenance, and the harvested produce is wholly removed together with the tree. They will take it home or to the market.
The Hatam Tribe in West Papua began to interact with outsiders, and this led to modifications in their customary behavior. They started using a more “modern” land management method after observing the abilities of the transmigrant farmers, especially after the 1970s, when transmigration programs were widely used in the state.
When the government implemented a local transmigration policy in 1972 that allowed the Hatam Tribe to coexist side by side with national transmigrant workers to cultivate the land, the transition process became more obvious.