A Book Review, “The Ethnography of Papuan Development”

goodmorningpapua.com – A Papuan Ethnography courses must be taken by every student studying at universities throughout the Land of Papua (Papua and West Papua). It is Usually given in the first semester.

This course intends to introduce students to the socio-cultural characteristics of the Papuan people from the stone age to the discovery of tribes by ethnographers or researchers in other fields.

The author of this book has taught courses on Papuan ethnography since 2008 at the University of Papua, Manokwari. At the beginning of the lecture, students always ask questions: “What are you studying Papuan ethnography for?” Firaun Pawika, a student from Wamena, calmly replied: “I want to learn about Papuan customs.”

Then I asked the same question to a student from Java, Sri Utami Ningsih, the answer was: “In order that I can understand the behavior and cultural values ​​of the Papuan people.”

From the student’s answers, it can be concluded that learning the Papuan ethnography is only limited to want to know the customs or culture of the tribes in Papua! It is very superficial and useless to learn a science that does not have a progressive impact on the development of a society that is still lagging behind like Papua.

That’s why the mindset about Papuan Ethnography courses must change! Not wanting to figure out about the traditions, customs, culture and behavior of the Papuan people, but going further to develop Papua.

With Papuan ethnography, we can find out how to develop Papua from its psycho-social and cultural aspects. Papuan culture is not static, but dynamically following the growth of the times that pass through it. Aren’t the social sciences dynamic and progressive following the human mind that wants to keep changing?

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