Komin and Amber, Ways of Thinking of Indigenous Papuans in Viewing Conflict

goodmorningpapua.com – A lecturer at the Faculty of Letters and Culture at the University of Papua (Unipa), Yusuf Sawaki, explained the logic of thinking of the Indigenous Papuans (OAP) in relation to non-Papuans which he called the “logic of culture”. In this case, non-Papuans are represented by Indonesian citizens or government.

“Papuans basically view themselves differently from other people. So, there are thoughts about otherness,” Yusuf said in a research webinar

Yusuf said that because Papuans see themselves as different from non-Papuans, there is a binary dichotomy: me vs you. In modern Papuan society, this dichotomy is known as Komin and Amber. “Komin is Papuan and Amber is others,” said Yusuf.

Yusuf said that this logic is a normal and normal perspective for OAP in seeing other people. OAP uses this logic to assess how non-Papuan’s act, act, and think about Papuans themselves.

With this way of thinking, there is often paranoia or suspicion from OAP towards non-Papuans. This suspicion is rooted in political friction that has lasted for decades since the integration of Papua into Indonesia in 1969.

Through the logic of thinking above, OAP always get suspicious when a government party wants to carry out development in their area. Yusuf said that sometimes OAP is suspicious of whether the state will provide something good or bad.

If what non-Papuans do is considered contrary to the values ​​believed by OAP, then the gap in otherness will widen. “If the policy is detrimental or victimizing of the Papuan people, then he will see [the state] as someone else and to a certain extent there can be extreme rejections,” said Yusuf.

On the other hand, if what non-Papuans do is acceptable, then OAP will open their hands to establish positive relationships with non-Papuans. “So, if the development humanizes the Papuan people, it provides basic touches, then it will be seen as a positive relationship,” said Yusuf.

Thus, the social relations between OAP and non-Papuans—in this case the Indonesian government implementing development in Papua—become OAP’s fundamental way of thinking in viewing their social relationships with other people. “And it is brought into everyday life,” said Yusuf.

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