Local Wisdom of Indigenous Papuans as Basic Capital for Development

goodmorningpapua.com – In the long turn, quality of human knowledge is getting more sophisticated. Everything can be easily obtained according to human needs and desires. The competition of interests between individuals and even groups for the sake of a good name and popularity sometimes even sacrifices others. In it all possibilities can occur, both the possibility that it will have a positive impact, as well as a negative impact on the next human civilization. The impact of these advances also affects all dimensions of human life down to the basics.

What is local wisdom?

 If examined further, local wisdom itself consists of two words: wisdom and local. In the Big Dictionary of Bahasa Indonesia (2005), local means place, while wisdom means discernment. Thus, in general, local wisdom can be understood as views, ideas, local ideas that are wise, full of wisdom, and of good value, to be followed by the local community. Local wisdom itself is divided into two aspects, namely local wisdom that is tangible and intangible. The tangible local wisdom can be something like typical food, traditional dances, customary land, architecture, and so on.

Based on the forms of local wisdom described above, the Papuans also have the same thing. They have very noble cultural values ​​and natural resources that are rich in “milk and honey”. Papua’s natural wealth and traditions are not only a matter of pride of the world, but more than that they have noble values ​​for themselves. Everything related to culture is seen as a subject since they have become a unit. For example, Papuans understand land as a mother.

Eco-theological reflection: Allah as the principle of relation between human and local wisdom

Allah is the Creator who made all creation possible. At the same time, it also establishes boundaries and laws, which contain commands and prohibitions for the fellowship of created beings. The first truth, that the existence of all creation was made possible by God leads us to the idea of ​​communion, in which God is the basis for everything: He created everything by His creative power.

 The relationship between humans and the created world stems from God’s blessing and command in Genesis 1:28 to “subdue” the earth and “rule” over all living things. This verse is very meaningful because it immediately follows God’s statement about man; that they, male and female, are in the image and portrait of Allah. This statement of Allah is sometimes misinterpreted by both parties, men and women, as a form of legitimacy for the command to “subdue” and “rule”; exploit other creations arbitrarily (Drummond, 2001: 19) After creating, God came and lived with them in the garden of eden.

 They build a harmonious and peaceful relationship. In the peaceful fellowship between creation and between creation and the Creator, God too rests, feels calm and at peace (cf. Gen 2:1-3). The second truth, that it establishes boundaries and laws that contain commands and prohibitions for the fellowship of created beings. This has actually been ordained from the very beginning by the Creator himself, and is symbolically expressed by the prohibition against “eating from the fruit of the tree” (Gen. 2:16-17).

The limits and laws are deeper in meaning that created beings are always under the control of Allah. Being under the dominion and fellowship of Allah, all creation will find tranquility and peace. Therefore, the limitations and laws that contain commands and prohibitions for the fellowship of creation emphasize the condition of the fellowship that remains intact with God. It is these truths that state the basis of the relationship between man and nature. Human relations are essentially and existentially always refer to God. God is the main guidance for establishing relationships (Dister, 2004: 73).

As the image and image of God himself, humans manifest togetherness with God by means of their participation in managing, safeguarding and maintaining and developing the earth and all its contents for the sake of prosperity and common prosperity and the sustainability of the integrity of creation. Humans also have dignity as individuals who are able to recognize themselves, realize their togetherness with others, and are responsible for other created beings (Gaiya Magazine, 2019: 3).

Local wisdom as identity

So far, it can be said that development in Papua is quick. The facilities built make it easier for humans to interact with one another. Remote areas of Papua are increasingly open to these developments. Housings, offices, markets, terminals, and other facilities open access for the creation of space for social, political, economic, cultural, and other transactions.

 This will not only have an impact on the survival of today’s society, but will also have an impact on future generations. Therefore, in my opinion, proper development does not mean destroying or even eliminating local wisdom that God has bestowed on every indigenous people in Papua, but actually advancing the existing potential and wealth. For this reason, an understanding of the relevance of Papuan people as both the subject and object of development and the sacred value of their local wisdom needs to be activated, so that both the government and the community can use Papuan local wisdom as the foundation for development.

Author: Zebedeus Mote (Student of Fajar Timur College of Theological Philosophy (STFT) Abepura, Papua)

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