5 Interesting Facts About Fakfak Regency, West Papua

West Papua
Sumber : Kaufik Anril

Fakfak is one of the regencies in West Papua province located in the southern part of ‘the bird’s head’ of Papua Island. Because of this, Fakfak is considered economically strategic since it’s the easiest town to reach compared to other towns in Papua. To reach Fakfak, we can travel by plane or ship from Ambon.

Covering 14.320 km², Fakfak has interesting facts that you may not know about. Here are the facts about Fakfak.

West Papua
Sumber : Celebes

Interesting Facts About Fakfak Regency, West Papua

  • Fakfak has a Muslim majority

According to Tome of Negarakertagama, written by Mpu Prapanca, Wonin (Onin cape, Fakfak Regency) is under the rules of Tidore Sultanate, the Islamic kingdom ruled in the 16th century. Thus, it is not surprising that the majority of the people in Fakfak are Muslims. Because of its strategic location, Fakfak became one of the busiest trading points for Muslim merchants from India and Arab. These merchants assimilated and spread the influence of Islam in Fakfak.

Masjid Tua Patimburak (Old mosque of Patimburak) is one of the historical monuments in the Kokas district and dated to more than one hundred years old. Built in 1870, it’s still in good shape until now. Interestingly enough, this mosque has mixed architecture of Dutch and Java.

  • Fakfak is called The City of Nutmeg

Fakfak has a long history of nutmeg commodities and products and is named The City of Nutmeg. This regency is the biggest producer of nutmeg in Indonesia since 70% of nutmeg production in Indonesia is sourced from Fakfak. Nutmeg is a blessing for the people in Fakfak.

  • Having so many historical sites

In Kokas district, Fakfak Regency, West Papua, there is an old town by the shore. This shore was an old port for foreign merchants and played a part in the Pacific War in 1941-1945.

In this district, we can also see colonial architecture buildings, war cannons used in the Pacific War, defensive hills, and bunkers used by Japanese soldiers. If we travel further to Patimburak Village, we can visit Masjid Tua Patimburak, built 150 years ago.

In Kokas bay, we can also visit a historical site called Situs Tapurarang. We can see prehistoric paintings on this site, such as handprints and other paintings on the cliff walls, 2 meters above the sea surface. These paintings dated to thousands of years and were considered a sacred place by the locals.

  • Has ‘Satu Tungku Tiga Batu’ (one stove and three stones)  as their Motto

In the daily life of the people of Fakfak, the motto of Satu Tungku Tiga Batu is running through their veins. Tungku or stove is the symbol of life, while tiga batu or three stones are the symbols of ‘you’, ‘me’, and ‘he/she’. This motto means any difference we have in life (religions and beliefs, racial, social status) is all but naught under the camaraderie of Fakfak people.

This motto represents daily life in Fakfak, which upholds tolerance in choosing religions and beliefs in their culture. Stove or Tungku means a place to defend or protect, philosophically. Three stones or Tiga Batu symbolize three pillars of the Fakfak people: culture, governance, and religions/beliefs. Tiga Batu also symbolizes the three main religions in Fakfak: Islam, Catholics, and Protestant.

This concept bonds the different people with different beliefs to unite in the community. One good example of this concept of religious tolerance is Masjid Tua Patimburak in Kokas District, Fakfak Regency, West Papua.

  • Martabak Sagu, a traditional cuisine

One of the famous traditional cuisines from Fakfak is martabak. Commonly, martabak uses wheat flour as the base, but in Fakfak, the people here use sago flour, made out of sago tree. Sago is the staple food of people in Papua. It is made by processing sago into fine flour, fried, and mixed with palm sugar or coconut sugar. This traditional cuisine has a sweet and savory taste, commonly served to welcome guests arriving in Fakfak, West Papua.

Those are some interesting facts about Fakfak. Do you have plan to visit this regency?