Saturday, February 6, 2010

Norwegian Student Bought Some Traditional Woven Cloth in Manokwari Papua

Mrs. Marice Fonataba, a master of cloth weaving, was very happy this morning. When most of the town dwellers went to Mansinam island to attend the Gospel Landing Day celebration, she was busy showing her hand-made woven cloth to a tourist. A guest from Norway visited her home. Her name is Tan. She is an Indian-Norwegian who is doing a field research on the possibilities of the implementation of UN-REDD program among forest communities in developing countries. UNREDD is launched by the United Nations to empower villagers and to fight deforestation and global warming.

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However, Tan came to Ms. Fonataba's house not for interviewing her on things related to UNREDD but to buy some woven clothes which she has made. Ms. Fonataba was one of the few Papuan women who learned the traditional cloth weaving from Sister Aloysia, a Catholic nun who was originally from South East Maluku islands. There, women weave clothes from natural fibers for their families' clothing.
Tan bought a large sheet of woven cloth which costed her Rp. 500,000. As you can see in the photos of this post, she tried some cloth on her body before deciding to buy one.

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The development of tourism industry brings positive impact to the local people if they can get various benefits from it. Handicraft makers, artists who create beautiful carvings and paintings should get government's attention. In other words, creative economy should be the backbone of the tourism industry in Manokwari of West Papua.

If you plan to come to Manokwari, I recommend that you buy souvenirs that are created by Papuan artists as the products of their artistic creativity such as hand made woven cloth, wood carvings, postcards or paintings.. Please, DON'T buy souvenirs that are made of corals, or skins or feather of endangered animals such as birds of paradise, white and goliath cockatoo, kuskus and etc. If you buy them, you have encouraged the destruction of marine environment and the huntings of Papuan animals that are facing extinction .