Being one of the most important cities in West Papua, Sorong city is very promising. Both in the economic field and in the field of tourism. It is because this area is rich in oil and gas. Besides, it is also the gateway to Raja Ampat. However, there are not many people that know about the origin of Sorong City.
Because not only attractive for investors and tourists, Sorong City also has a history that is no less attractive. Sorong City is one of the biggest cities on Papua island and has many interesting facts about its origin. Here is the explanation about it!
The History Behind Its Name
As you always know, exploring the history behind a city’s name is always fun and interesting. Sorong City is no exception. Many people are curious about why the largest city in West Papua is called Sorong. Then, what is the history of Sorong City?
There are two versions of the history behind the name “Sorong.” The first one is because of an acronym, and the other one is from the Biak Tribe.
1. From an Acronym
Many believe Sorong is the acronym for Seismic Ondersub Oil Nieuw Guinea (SORONG). It is Dutch, meaning that there are many oils in this area. So, during the colonial period, the Dutch began to refer to this area as Sorong.
However, people started to find out about the existence of oil in Sorong City in 1928. But, before that, Sorong was already named Sorong. The evidence is the literature records of a German scientist named C. B. H. Von Rosenberg.
In one of his books published in 1888, he wrote: “kampong Sorrong” which means Sorong village.
2. From Biak Language
Aside from being an acronym, many people believe that the Biak Tribe is the one named Sorong City. It is because, in the past, The Biak tribe used the Maladum ocean as a shipping route. Because of this, they started migrating to Sorong, Raja Ampat, and Tambrauw.
So, right now, aside from the native tribes of Sorong, there is also the Biak Tribe. According to the Biaks, the origin of the word Sorong is Soren. Literally, it means an ocean that is deep and also wavy. However, the Biaks pronounce Soren as Sorn or Soron. Then, it became the word Sorong Regency.
The History Behind Establishment of Sorong City
Many people are also interested in the history behind the establishment of Sorong City. According to history, originally, the name Sorong referred to a village. It is located on Doom Island, where the Moi Tribe lives.
Doom or Dum is an island that is located precisely across Sorong City. So, there is a deep connection between the two areas.
Aside from Moi Tribes, there are also the Biak Tribes migrating to Doom Island. They live side by side in harmony there. Then, many people started using the names Sorong and Doom at the same time. People call that area Soron Dom.
This is a form of bond between the Moi Tribe and the Biak Tribe. The name Sorong comes from the Biak language, and the name Doom comes from the Moi language. This is being recorded in the painting of De Clerq in 1887. It reads, “De negorij op Sorong op het eiland Dom”.
Well, that’s the origin of Sorong City that all of us, Indonesian citizens, need to know. There are two different versions of the history behind his name. The first is an acronym and the second is from the Biak language. But the second version is more reliable because there are historical records.