West Papua culture is hard to learn at just a glance. It has varying cultural points that go beyond languages and food. One of the most fascinating west Papua culture and culinary you can learn is the traditional clothing. It is not only the west Papuan identity. It also showcases the long history and the rural lifestyle of the native tribes.
Ranges Of Papuan Traditional Clothes
The most distinctive characteristic of the West Papuan tribal clothes is Koteka. It is one of the historical costumes that are still used by the elder of the indigenous group in West Papua. One thing that is for sure is that Koteka is mostly used by the rural tribes, especially those inhibiting Paniani. So, what makes it unique?
The answer goes to the fact that it is used by the male to cover their genitals. The shapes, sizes, and materials are differing from one tribe to another. But the common material is old dried pumpkin. As part of west Papua culture and culinary, you can see people from the tribe use Koteka while bare chest during activities or festivals.
The rural tribe also uses distinctive plant and natural-based clothes namely Ewer. It is mostly made of dried straws that cover most of the vital parts. With modernization, most people use Ewer on top of shirts or pants. It is also worth noticing that ewer is mostly found used by females as knee-length skirt or clothes.
Supposedly one of the known traditional clothes of the West Papua region is Serui. The basic material is the sago leaves that are dried and made into shirts or skirts. The design for both males and females are similar. However, most of the males will only wear the skirt with bare chests.
There is also an abundance of accessories as part of west Papua culture and culinary clothes.
Accessories And Gears
Indigenous natives wear ranges of accessories to complete the traditional clothes or as attributes for festivals. In the case of Serui, the ornaments include some chests and headpieces. It comes in the form of necklaces, bracelets, or headgear made of bird of paradise feathers. In wedding ceremonies, the groom will bring an arrow and shield to follow the traditional custom.
There are also some other ornaments or accessories, such as belts. In Ewer, women will use a belt made of bark with an intricate motif on top of their straw skirts. The woman also has more ornament to wears along with the traditional attire. Some of them are yarn, hard grain, and cassowary feathers accessories.
It is worth noting that the west Papua culture and culinary are starting to changes over time. Due to modernization, indigenous people wear shirts or skirts under their traditional clothes. It also makes a more polite model while still pinpoint some of the tribal distinctive clothing characteristics.
Considering that West Papuan used to be a remote area with varying indigenous tribal communities, plant-based clothes are very likely to find. Koteka might be one of the most famous traditional clothing known by the public. It has its meaning and distinctive point. There are also Serui and Ewee that showcase the nature or tribal lifestyle of the natives.