Basically, Sorong is one of the biggest regions that exist in the province of Southwest Papua. Therefore, it is natural that there are many ethnic groups living in that area. Sometimes, several small tribes even get together and form a larger tribe. For example, the Imeko Tribe, which consists of three small tribes within it.
Imeko is one of the large tribes that inhabit the Sorong area in Southwest Papua. To be precise, in South Sorong Regency. It is a combination of three other small tribes: Inanwatan, Metemani, and Kokoda.
Some people also consider the Kais Tribe a part of this big tribe, and they call it the Imekko Tribe.
The first member of Imeko is definitely the Inanwatan Tribe. They inhabit Inanwatan District, which is administratively included in South Sorong Regency. However, some tribe members also live in another area in Bird’s Head Peninsula even though most live around the Sorong area.
In fact, Inanwatan is one of the native tribes of Sorong who have their language. The language is called Inanwatan language, also known as the Suabo language. But, there are few speakers of the language. According to the latest records, the speakers are only about 1,100 people.
One of the most popular cultures of the Inanwatan people is kain tenun timor. It literally means Timor woven fabric, which is very important for the people of Inanwatan. They regard it as a sacred cloth, which is being used as a dowry. Aside from that, they regard it as a status of the customary power system.
Then, there is the Metemani Tribe, also a member of Imeko. They inhabit Metemani District, which is a part of the South Sorong Regency. The area of this district is quite wide, about 531.49 km². There are around six villages here with around 3.206 total population.
Most of the Metemani people are known as reliable sago processors. This is because the potential for sago in this district is very good. In one village alone, there are about 363,520 sago trees. However, the use of these trees is only limited to staple foods.
This has made many people take the initiative to maximize the potential of sago for the Metemani people. The reason is that sago has the potential to become the main economic source of the Metemani people.
The last member of Imeko is probably the Kokoda Tribe. They inhabit Kokoda District which includes the South Sorong Regency area. Some of the members of the tribe also live in Klasabi Village, Man District, the city of Sorong.
In the city, they settle around the DEO Airport. However, the location of the Kokoda District still needs to be determined, be it with land, sea, or air routes. This makes the lifestyle of the Kokoda people different from one another.
If in the city, they live more modernly, then in the Kokoda District, they live more traditionally. They still stab the sago and look for fish in the river with a traditional sago midrib woven tool. Most of the people of Kokoda have a job as a teacher, farmers, fishermen, and traders.
In terms of religion, most Kokoda people embrace Islam and Protestantism. They live in harmony, and there is almost no religious conflict. Every time there is a big Muslim celebration, the leader of the event organizer is a Protestant, and vice versa.
So, those are all you should know about the Imeko Tribe. Unlike the other tribes in Papua, Imeko is an association of three smaller tribes. That is the tribe of Inanwatan, Metemani, and Kokoda.