Month: August 2013

The Forgotten Treasures


The Museum of Papua Province

Treasure is all around us. Where can you find it?


Those kind of treasures, you know what I mean, worth more than money. Every inch of natural sketches, artifacts, ancient paintings and the other tens thousand historical objects are a time machine. It become proof of a long, complicated civilizations happening on earth.

I once standing in front of a building. It has two Asmat monuments, both carved with human and animal shape that I recognize as a long crocodile and snake.

This red, sharp-roofed building is Museum Negeri Provinsi Papua. There’s no one, no one at that time visited this museum except us (me and the other two journalists). The door was closed, it was 10.00 AM in Jayapura.

An old woman came. Surprisingly, she asked the aim of our visit.

We.. we just want to see the collections,” I answered. She nodded. Each of us pay Rp 3.500 to enter the museum and voila! There goes the treasures.


Inside the museum


Traditional cooking equipment


Traditional mat and pillow

Zillion treasures. Talking about ethnic groups, I can say Papua is our richest one. There’s more than 350 different ethnic group across this island. They made a civilization near the shore, in the valley and mountainous landscape, deep in the jungle.

Each of them had a different tradition. You won’t see anything like Koteka beside in Baliem Valley, used by Dani people. Each ethnic group had a carving tradition, but the motives are different anyway. You won’t see any carved monument made by Asmats if you don’t come straight to Timika.

You wouldn’t know how these indigenious people were very excited about the world outside. To them, those Chinese porcelain, British teapot and ceramic cups are treasures! Neatly, they kept those ‘treasures’ so we can find it also in the museum.

If you want to know more about your destination, go straight to the museum. I can guarantee your money wouldn’t cost anything than billions of knowledge.


An example of traditional string to for making a Noken (Dani tribe’s traditional bag)


Various spears

A Lonely Girl in Pajamas


Sunshine awakes me. The soil feel so moist, even the cold air feels like a warm hug. I open my eyes, slowly, what a beautiful valley. The sky is clear, sapphire blue with dots of floating white clouds. From behind them, there it is. The beautiful morning sun, smiling to a lonely girl in pajamas.

I found myself in the middle of green-yellowish valley. All alone as far as I can see. The morning breeze sounds like a melody, rustling with the sound of leaves. Barefoot, I started to walk.

Then I go faster. Faster. Faster. I smile when I run. Laugh while I fall. Roll down the valley, I feel the freedom.

I lay in the middle of falling leaves. I close my eyes, I feel the universe.

Something cold hitting up my nose. God! it’s giraffe’s nose. Just after kissing noses, she winks and smile at me. She had a long, thick eyelashes.

Pulling over her long-long neck, the giraffe keep staring as I still lying. She’s sitting there actually. I sat next to her, we’re staring at the sun.

Why did you came here? It’s been a long time,” she said.

It’s a calm, matronly voice that came up to my ears. I shook head, then asked her back.

What am I doing here?”

You need someplace quiet. A peaceful one.”

Am I dreaming?”

No, this place is in you. Everybody is a universe. They found anger, peace within themselves. So do you.

Can I come back?”

Of course, you choose to.”

Satu Siang di Kalimantan


Satu siang yang cerah, mobil melipir di jalanan Kota Landak. Matahari tak hentinya membasuh garis khatulistiwa. Pendingin udara di mobil tak mampu mendinginkan otak yang panas.

Saya melirik kawan-kawan yang sedang bersepeda lintas Kalimantan. Kulit mereka memerah, kemudian menghitam seketika. Bulir-bulir keringat berjatuhan. Baju mereka basah total.

Menyadari nafas mereka yang memburu, kami mencari tempat istirahat. Hanya ada segelintir rumah di jalan lintas Kalimantan itu. Kami pun melipir di salah satunya.

Nguyen, begitu nama si Ibu pemilik rumah. Kulitnya cokelat, rambutnya lurus sebahu. Senyumnya langsung mengembang begitu kami tiba, meski alisnya mengrenyit karena teriknya matahari di luar rumah kecilnya. Anak-anak berhamburan di halaman rumahnya.




Aduh, saya nggak bisa menyediakan apa-apa,” katanya.

Tapi ia mempersilakan kami beristirahat di terasnya, meminjam alat masaknya. Dia menemani kami istirahat, menyuruh anak-anaknya agar tidak nakal. Menarik tangan gadis mungil yang mendekati saya dan kawan-kawan. Menyentil anak laki-lakinya yang diam-diam mengoprek sepeda.

Lebih dari itu, dia bercerita tentang suaminya. Seorang Protestan yang rajin beribadah ke gereja. Seorang pelukis yang telah memeroleh banyak piala atas kepiawaiannya menggores tinta di atas kertas. Dari perkawinan yang bahagia, mereka dikaruniai 7 anak.

Siang yang terik itu, kendaraan lalu-lalang di jalan lintas Kalimantan. Bersama rombongan dan keluarga Bu Nguyen, saya berteduh di teras. Tawa anak-anak terdengar sangat renyah. Makan siang kali itu terasa luar biasa nikmat.

Tuhan selalu memberi bantuan kepada umatnya yang dalam perjalanan. Dan bagi saya, Bu Nguyen adalah salah satunya. πŸ™‚