The Maybrat Tribe is not a stranger in the land of Papua. Back then, during the colonialism of the Dutch East Indies, they lived in Manokwari’s four districts. Today, they become part of Sorong’s Ayamaru, Aifat, and Aitinyo.
Some of them also live in Sausapor – some of Maybrat’s people are still living in Manokwari, after all. You may have heard of Maybrat as a location. This article, on the other hand, will tell you everything you need to know about the tribe.
According to sources, Maybrat came from two words: “May” means language, and “Brat” means came from. Thus, Maybrat could mean a language that came from somewhere. Back then, the population of this tribe was about 900. Today, at least 35,000 people are part of the tribe.
Like other tribes in Papua, Maybrat traditional house is called Rumah Panggung. The house has a head (roof), body (where people live), and feet (the base of the house). To build this house, people commonly use sago or rumbino leaves. Today, they use modern materials to build their houses, after all.
Most of them are Christians and Catholics. Yet, they also have a belief called Yefun before accepting the faith brought by missionaries. Even though they live in Papua, they have different dialects and languages compared to other tribes in Papua.
Maybrat people also invent various customs and rituals, which make them unique in many ways. To strengthen the bond, the tribe often holds ceremonies and traditional performances.
Usually, the tradition involves sharing and exchanging Maybrat’s traditional fabric called Kain Timur. Other than that, several distinctive flora and fauna live in the Maybrat people’s area. You may find several kinds of orchids, some basils, ferns, and many more.
As mentioned earlier, most of the tribe live in Sorong, which has a tropical climate. The area is also surrounded by rivers, even though the typography is quite varied.
It is no wonder that Maybrat people experience lush ground where they can plant almost anything. Also, this is why the Maybrat Tribe’s livelihood is farming.
Culture and Tradition
The Maybrat Tribe culture is one of the most interesting things about this tribe. From traditional dances to the marriage system, here are things you need to know about Maybrat’s culture and tradition.
1. Fabrics and Dowry
The marriage system of the Maybrat Tribe is more about the unification of the entire family from both the groom and bride. Thus, it is not just about the two lovebirds.
Other than that, they take fabrics as the dowry, besides money. The groom has to bring Kain Timur (it is Maybrat pride) to bring the bride home.
On the other hand, the fabrics are quite expensive, considering they were part of local currencies. Once the dowry suits the bride, the groom’s family will dance as part of their gratitude.
2. Traditional Dances
When it comes to traditional dances, Maybrat has many types. However, Orok dance is considered the highest in the hierarchy of Maybrat traditional dance. Even though they have various dances to mark death, birth, and others, the Orok dance is only shown when the children go to school for the first time.
Papua is always full of gorgeous things and surprises – Maybrat as a tribe is just one of those beautiful surprises. How the Maybrat people lived in the past and their culture showed they had lived on the land of Papua for thousands of years ago.
They have shown their truest self through patterns of life and vogue. Their traditional knowledge was also why their existence in Papua is unique. It is no wonder that the Maybrat Tribe is quite amazing, even today.