Folklore is an effective way of introducing and preserving culture. In Indonesia, this includes West Papua folklore. Many should know how the legend and the stories behind them.
The Origin of the Bird of Paradise
One of the West Papua Folklore is the legend about the origin of the bird of paradise. In ancient times in the Fak Fak area, precisely in the Bumperi mountains, there lived an older woman with a female dog.
Long story short, suddenly, the woman became pregnant without cause, and a boy named Kweiya was born. Several years later, Kweiya met a man.
Then, Kweiya finally brings the man to his mother. But over time, Kweiya’s half-sister has become jealous.
Until one day, they attacked Kweiya. Upset because Kweiya’s body was full of wounds from the attacks of his two younger siblings.
In the end, Kweiya hid in the corner of the house and tied her body with “Pogak Nggein” tree bark.
Then when his parents came home and looked for Kweiya. They saw Kweiya become a strange bird that said, “Eek ek ek ek.”
At the end of the story, his mother realized what had happened while crying profusely.
Seeing her child turn into a bird, her mother also wanted to join her. In the end, his mother turned into a bird of paradise.
Legend of Biwar, the Dragon Conqueror
The first famous West Papua folklore is the Legend of Biwar, the Dragon Conqueror. This legend tells of a young man from Papua who managed to defeat a dragon.
This story begins in ancient times when a young man named Biwar from Mimika Papua. Once upon a time, this young man fought with a dragon.
This dragon kill his father and uncle. At the end of the story, the dragon managed to stab Biwar until his head was almost cut off.
The Little Mermaid’s Karupet
This Karupet figure is a young man who is humble, challenging, and never gives up. He was born as a young man who had an imperfect body.
His whole body has scales like a fish. In the story, Karupet is married to a woman named Ajolo.
A magical crocodile has helped Ajolo give birth to a boy they named Meles. After the delivery, the magical crocodile told Karupet and his entire family not to hunt animals in the Warsamsung river.
At one point, Meles made a mistake by hunting a crocodile in the Warsamsung river. For this incident, Meles has been deemed to have violated the message conveyed by the magical crocodile.
As punishment for Meles’ transgression, he is brought in by a magical crocodile to replace the one he has been hunting. In the Warsamsung river, there is a stone that looks like a human.
Local people believe the stone is the embodiment of Meles’ body.
Since then, according to this West Papua folklore, people living around the Warsamsung River did not dare to hunt crocodiles to eat or take their skins.
The Legend of the Edesa Oufa and the Bird of Paradise
This West Papua folklore tells about the Arfak Mountains, which have a natural beauty that reconciles the tranquility of its inhabitants.
This mountain is where the three birds of paradise, consisting of Mama and her two children, lived.
Her mother’s name is Nam Mesra. Her youngest child is named Orna Mesra, and her older sister is. People around Arfak know that the birds of paradise that live there really like nature, so they are pleased.
Around the mountain, the chief of the tribe lives with his family. His son is named Odesa Oufa. He is kind and likes to help others.
The story of Marga Sani and Marga Mayor
The Sani clan is one of the clans of the Moi tribe in Papua. They inhabit the interior of Sorong, West Papua, which is commonly called the bird’s head area.
Apart from the Sani clan, the Moi tribe also has the Dan, Paa, Salamala, Sapisa, Malak, and other families.
Meanwhile, the Mayor clan is one of the clans of the As tribe on Tidore Island, the Maluku Islands. They came to mainland Sorong with other families.
Apart from having different origins, the Sani and the Mayor clan are two different ethnic groups, Papua and Maluku.
What is unique is that the two clans of the two ethnic groups are now related, like relatives of the same clan.
People outside Papua rarely know stories in West Papua folklore like this, so it is necessary to introduce them to the younger generation.