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


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