Looking at Asei Village Closely, a Bark Crafts Headquarters of Papua

goodmorningpapua.com – One of the typical Papuan souvenirs liked by tourists is the result of handicrafts from bark which still relies heavily on traditional manufacturing techniques. The travelers can see directly the center of the craftsmen producing bark craft products on Bumi Cendrawasih, namely in Asei Village which is a tourist village and is located in the middle of Lake Sentani.

“Since I was little, sa (I) have been doing this, since the days of our ancestors, I have been doing this every day. Starting from earrings until now, I am skilled in all crafts,” said Mama Maryones Onge (46), a native who lives in Asei Village. Bark craft is one of the mainstay livelihoods in Asei Village.

From an early age, children in this traditional village are required to learn the skills of making handmade arts. During the XX Papua PON event, people from Asei Village flocked to the city to participate in celebrating the implementation of the four-yearly national multi-event event.

Usually in normal conditions, Asei Village is always crowded with visitors who want to travel and look for original handicrafts made by indigenous people. However, since the Covid-19 pandemic, handicrafts and activities in the Asei tourist village have been ceased.

“Usually there is a white boat that brings foreign tourists here. About every 3 to 6 months. They must buy headbands and bark crafts that we make. But since this corona we have met our daily needs as much as we can,” said Mama Maryones.

He saw the presence of the Papua PON as one of the steps for the revival of the people’s economy which was hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. Mama Maryones is also happy because she can be actively involved in celebrating the first PON celebration in the easternmost region of Indonesia.

He said that within three weeks before the PON took place, his family participated in making hundreds of orders for headbands to complement the clothes of the dancers who entertained the public at the grand opening of the PON. In addition to the headband, Mama Maryones also made a tassel skirt that was still made from natural bark so that the dancers’ appearance still looked like one with nature.

Through his works of art, he wants to show that the Papuan people have unlimited creativity while still maintaining their cultural values. Each of his works is expected to bring happiness and peace to the users or recipients.

Mama Maryones also saw PON Papua as an event to show the safe, peaceful, and unpretentious face of Papua. The peace that is now being maintained by the community during the Papua PON is expected to be sustainable in the long term.

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