Original Noken of the Papuan Kamoro Tribe, Made from Bark and Leaves

goodmorningpapua.com – A way to make a native Papuan Noken in each tribe and traditional area is different. Traditionally, there are tribes who weave, there are also those who embroider and knit. The materials for making Noken are also different. Some use ropes, bark, leaves from trees in each of their respective tribes. It is like the Noken produced by the Kamoro Tribe in Mimika Regency, Papua Province. This tribe has a culture of making Noken that is different from other tribes in Papua. Likewise with the materials for making it.

The Kamoro tribe is known for its Noken weaving tradition. The tradition of weaving the Kamoro Noken is found in various villages in the eastern Mimika region to the western Mimika region. The tradition of weaving the Kamoro Noken has existed since time immemorial until now.

The Kamoro community leader, Dominggus Kapiyau, said that the ingredients for making the original noken of the Kamoro tribe are not just any leaves and bark, but from materials that have been used for generations by the Kamoro people.

“The Kamoro people make Noken using bark from the naru tree and mat leaves from the kopa tree,” said Minggus, Dominggus Kapiyau’s greeting, Friday (4/8/2022).

The material for making this Noken is taken from the forest around where the Kamoro people live, not far from the residents’ villages. In fact, the tree for making this noken was planted by the Kamoro people. “The materials for making this Noken are located around the Kamoro Tribe community. The materials are around the villages around their yard. In fact, some of the ingredients are planted,” he said.

The leaves of the mats and the bark of the Naru tree are taken by mothers from the forest or from the surrounding yard. Then, the leaves of the mat and the bark are dried in the hot sun.

“When the leaves of the mat and tree bark are dry, then the Kamoro tribe will take them to start weaving Noken,” he explained.

Bernadeta Natuapoka, one of the mothers who is now 82 years old is still actively weaving an original Noken of the Kamoro Tribe. She lives with his children and grandchildren. Utilizing the front yard of her house in SP 04, Wania District, Mimika Regency, Papua, Mama Bernadeta is very serious about weaving Noken.

Even though her eyes were farsighted and she couldn’t see clearly, her smile still grew when slicing the Noken. Mama Bernadeta’s two hands held the Noken while weaving it. The Noken woven by this middle-aged woman is the Noken created from the bark of the waru tree.

For Mama Bernadeta, weaving the Kamoro Noken is her daily job, so it’s no wonder that making it is not difficult for her.

“Noken like this, if mama doesn’t walk, then in a day it will be done. But if mama is out of the way, then it can be done in two days,” she said.

The original Kamoro number was sold by Mama Bernadeta at a price of IDR 100,000 to IDR 150,000 per Noken. If anyone wants to buy it, they can come directly to Mama Bernadeta’s house. She doesn’t usually sell it like other Noken sales.

“I’m not used to selling in the market like in front of shops or on the roadside. Usually when someone buys it, they come directly to buy it at home. If no one used to order, then I immediately made it, “she said.

Unfortunately, this Noken weaving skill was not passed on by Mama Bernadeta, who is now almost a decade old, to her children and grandchildren. It’s not that they don’t want to continue, according to Mama Bernadeta, her children and grandchildren don’t want to learn and see firsthand the process of making noken native to the Kamoro Tribe.

 “Children and grandchildren cannot weave Noken. They even work differently. There are others who sell and can’t weave Noken,” she said.

Dominggus said that there is a need for a Noken Gallery in which to teach children how to weave the original noken of the Kamoro Tribe.

“By teaching children to weave Noken through the Noken Gallery, they will be able to preserve the original Noken of the Kamoro Tribe in the future,” he said. Not only that, in every school there needs to be local content (mulok) that teaches children about the skills of weaving Noken native to the Kamoro Tribe. That way, the preservation of the original Noken weaving of the Kamoro Tribe will be maintained in the Mimika Regency area.

 “Schools must include local content about making noken native to the Kamoro tribe, so that children can be trained to make Noken. That way we will participate in preserving the tradition of weaving the original Kamoro Noken in schools,” said this retired teacher.

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