Traditional terms are often associated with underdevelopment, poverty, lack of education, and many more. This opinion provides a gap between indigenous peoples and modern communities. Behind it all, many advantages can be obtained, such as how the Hatam tribe utilized the animal in West Papua. Here is further info about the way they live.
The Hatam Tribe and Its Traditional Traditions
Over the years, the Hatam tribe has found a way to meet their needs by establishing harmonious relationships with their surroundings. Nature is not only home to traditional communities but also protects them. As a result, the Hatam tribe has managed it wisely from generation to generation to achieve self-sufficiency following their lifestyle.
Along with the times, the destruction of nature is a serious problem that threatens humans, including traditional societies. At the same time, traditional knowledge plays an essential role in conserving natural resources and the surrounding animals. Thus, based on traditional knowledge, many types of animals and plants are beneficial to humans.
Traditional knowledge becomes essential as a cultural asset for the Hatam tribe. The traditional lifestyle is not just a choice, but more than that. It preserves customs in the use of animals in daily life. In fact, the use of animals by the community has been going on for thousands of years for various purposes, including daily needs, rituals, and others.
The Hatam people in West Papua still rely on the natural potential to make a living, especially those who live in mountainous areas. In utilizing resources such as plants, animals, and other environmental components, the Hatam people have a unique way. They still adhere to the stance of managing animal products in a wise way using traditional customs.
Utilization of Animals by the Hatam Community
The use of animals for food is one of the highest needs of the Hatam tribe. They primarily consume wildlife, and the rest are domesticated species. Several factors cause the Hatam people to prefer wild animals as the leading solution to overcome the need for animal protein. One of them is the long distance to the market because access is difficult.
In addition, purchases are still meager, affecting the Hatam community’s animal consumption. Apart from the main factor, lack of knowledge about good breeding also causes high dependence on wildlife. This is the reason why they choose to get food from wild animals from the forest in West Papua.
2. Animals as Traditional Medicine
The use of animals as medicine is not as popular as plants, but the Hatam people consider it very important. Animals have been part of the Hatam medical system for generations. This complex system has formed knowledge related to treating various diseases – medicine for wounds, internal ailments, flatulence, sprains, and ache treatment.
In this regard, there are two types of animal use – direct and indirect. Immediate help uses animals for treatment without going through processes such as heating or boiling. Meanwhile, indirect use is the use of animals through techniques such as heating, scraping, boiling, and burning.
3. Animals That Have High Value
High-value animals provide economic benefits to the Hatam people. Animals that have a direct economy can be sold to make money. These animals are generally game animals whose meat is sold to the market. In addition, there are types of animals that can be sold, such as butterflies and birds. The rarer the species, the higher the price the Hatams get.
4. Animals for Traditional Arts and Technology
Sharp weapons are the only traditional technology created by the Hatam tribe in West Papua. They use leg bones or cassowaries as blunt weapons. However, it is pretty hard to find this weapon by the Hatam tribe in the modern era because of the increasingly rare cassowary in their habitat. They have now switched to weapons, with the primary material being metal.
In addition to weapons, there is a traditional artistic value from animals, namely accessories. This is another form of creative expression of the Hatam people by using natural materials as accessories. Accessories are helpful as dance equipment or big ceremonies related to tradition and religion. One of the accessories from the animal is a headdress called Tebi (derived from cassowary feathers).
5. Animals That Have a Certain Meaning
The existence of several types of animals for the Hatam people has a special meaning for their lives. This belief is still found among the Hatam people, who are always associated with certain phenomena and events. They are forbidden to kill Candoia sp. because it can bring havoc. It can keep them away from effective animal exploitation practices in West Papua.
Overall, there is no excessive hunting practiced by the Hatam people towards animals. Hunting animals for consumption or other purposes is carried out as necessary using traditional techniques. This simple technique plays an indirect role in preventing overhunting. As a result, it impacts local wisdom as preservation on certain animals.