Behind the Moment of World Noken Day, Papuan Mamas [Mothers] Hope Noken Can Go International – In commemoration of World Noken Day which falls on December 4 2022, Papuan women who are craftsmen of Noken bags in Jayapura City hope that Noken will go global.

This was expressed by one of the Papuan mothers of Noken craftsmen, Elberti Merauje (42). “Mama hope for the Noken Day moment, that this bag of pride for the Papuan people and the identity of the Papuan people will be more widely known, and penetrate foreign markets,” he said.

In her opinion, Noken marketing must be carried out more broadly through national and international events so that Noken can be better known to the world.

“Mama understands that today UNESCO has recognized Noken as a world heritage, for that as Papuans we must be proud to wear Noken,” he said.

Seeing the changing times, the interest of Papuans to wear Noken in their daily activities has not faded.

“The proof is that there are still many people who go to the office, to the market, to school and attend official events wearing Noken, this indicates that we are still preserving our culture,” he said.

“Now there are also many Noken models, so it’s getting better and from an identity perspective we introduce to people that this Noken is from Papua,” he said.

Meanwhile, one of the Noken craftsmen in Abepura, Eklevina, when met by at the overhang of Jalan Raya Abepura Sentani, admitted that she was proud to be able to knit Noken.

“As Papuan women, kitong (we) have a job, namely to make Nokens to be sold, and we should be proud of that,” she said.

Through the hands of Papuan mothers or Papuan women, Eklevina is sure that the Noken as a Papuan cultural heritage bag can continue to be sustainable.

“Not all Papuan women can knit Noken, but if you want to learn and are aware of culture, you are certainly able to if you study hard,” she said.

Through the momentum of Noken Day December 4 2022, this smiling woman invited Papuan women to preserve Noken in their own way.

“You can knit, buy Noken at Papuan mothers, and most importantly wear and be proud of Noken wherever you go,” he advised.

Just to note, UNESCO on December 4, 2012 has designated Noken Papua as an intangible cultural heritage.

If you look back at the 2021 PON XX Papua event, Noken was the most sought-after souvenir by tourists at that time.

There are approximately 250 tribes in Papua who know and wear Noken in everyday life. The existence of Noken has become a culture that has been passed down from generation to generation until now. Since ancient times, Noken has been used for various daily purposes.  One of the daily functions of Noken is for carrying garden produce, seafood, wood, babies, small animals, groceries, money, betel nut, or food. Noken can also be used as a head or body cover.    

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