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Noken Papua’s Struggle to Become a World Cultural Heritage Recognized by UNESCO

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta – During his visit to Papua, President Joko Widodo or Jokowi had stopped at the side of the road to buy noken. This was done a day before attending the opening of the XX National Sports Week (PON) in Papua.

Noken has been included in the world cultural heritage after being approved by UNESCO. This has been championed since December 4, 2012 at the Unesco session in Paris, France. Based on a Tempo report last November 30, 2012, according to the then Deputy Minister of Education and Culture, Wiendu Nuryanti, the proposal for noken as a world heritage has been carried out since the last four years through several revisions.

There are five domains to define Indonesian culture as intangible cultural heritage. In addition to traditions, oral expressions, languages, performing arts, customs, rites, celebrations, as well as knowledge, habits or behavior about the universe, and lastly skills in traditional arts crafts.

Noken itself is taken from the Biak language from the word inoxon or inoken. Because of its uniqueness, it is carried with the head, the noken is registered with Unesco as one of the traditional works and world cultural heritage.

Noken is used to carry children because the air ventilation is safe. Because, noken is made from pandan leaves and other leaves so it is safe for babies. Noken can strengthen the muscles of the baby being carried so that it rarely hurts.

Noken bag made of wood. However, not a few noken are made from tree fibers or leaves which are processed into strong threads, then tied or woven together. The noken bag itself was included in the Google Doodle on September 5, 2020.

The bag, which is often a souvenir when tourists visit Papua, also has its own philosophy. La’a and Sri S in the Meaning of Ikat Weaving for Women: Ethnographic Studies in Mollo District North-South Middle East, for the Papuan people the results of noken weaving can illustrate the accuracy, patience, and beautiful taste of the maker.

Noken itself is synonymous with Papuan women. It is not surprising that Papuan girls have had to learn to weave noken from an early age. With this there is an assumption that a woman is able to make noken well, she will also be able to manage the household well.


Source: Tempo

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This Blog has gone through many obstacles and attacks from violent Free West Papua separatist supporters and ultra nationalist Indonesian since 2007. However, it has remained throughout a time devouring thoughts of how to bring peace to Papua and West Papua provinces of Indonesia.

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