Malaumkarta Youths Enthusiastically Use Digital Platform to Promote Local Potentials

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Wise man said that experience is the reliable best teacher. Direct interaction of each individual is surely distinctive if compared to the thick theoretical books on social, psychology and communication written by scientists. Perceiving directly Malaumkarta youths learning process to defend their most precious home and treasure is a fortune.

EcoNusa creative team had an opportunity to pay a visit to Malaumkarta Raya in March 2021. Malaumkarta Raya is a customary region consisting of 5 villages, namely Malaumkarta, Suatoli, Mibi, Suatut and Malagufuk in Makbon District, Sorong Regency, West Papua Province.

The team visited Malaumkarta to share knowledge with young people in Malaumkarta Raya on digital content production. The participants came from Malaumkarta Young Generation Association (PGM). They shared the richness of customary forests in Malaumkarta Raya and how they defend the spots from palm oil plantation.

EcoNusa team landed at Dominique Edward Osok Airport at Sorong City in the morning. Approaching the runway, there were green forest cover and blue fascinating ocean from aerial perspective. It took about an hour from the airport to the venue in Malaumkarta.

Read also: Food Estate and Future of Biodiversity in Tanah Papua

There were 11 participants on the 4-day training on digital content production. EcoNusa team shared knowledge on video making, idea exploration, script making and the best time for video upload. The participants were also exercised to create narrative sentence and design in support of a campaign process. It was intended to give knowledge to the youngsters in Malaumkarta Raya so as to promote their local potentials with extensive outreach from digital platform. 

Not all youths in Malaumkarta Raya have ever been acquainted with digital design concept. It was relatively newfangled experience to them. Orgenes Magablo or nicknamed Ori expressed his enthusiasm during the training. “I have ever made a design on a laptop, but I have never made it on a gadget. So, the training is really helpful as I can make a design anywhere anytime,” said Ori. 

Those young peoples attempted to identify their local potentials. They were endorsed to use digital technology to campaign the importance of forests. Forests are deemed a supermarket to meet all the needs. When a villager gets sick, Moi people uses natural concoction taken from the forests.

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One of them is so-called tali kuning (yellow string) tree. As to Johan Kalami, another participant, that tree can heal various kinds of illnesses such as cough, malaria, and even blood vomit.

Tali kuning, one of traditional medicines of Moi people (Yayasan EcoNusa/Puti Andini)

“From the old days, tong pu (we had) parents in ancient times, our ancestors until now in the Moi tribe still believe in natural ingredients such as yellow rope. Yellow rope has tremendous benefits for the community, ”said Johan Kalami.

The processing is quite simple. Cut the yellow rope about 10 centimeters. Then, peel the bark until it looks yellow. After that, divide into small pieces, wash, and boil until the water turns yellow. Taste? Of course it’s bitter and like a wooden snack.

Read also: Long Road to Conserve Traditional Culinary in Tanah Papua

For information matters, the people of Malaumkarta Raya have a unique resource from nature, namely using resin tree resin as raw material. Naturally, the bark of the resin tree will break and release the sap by itself. The resin sap can also be removed by splitting the bark. Then the resin sap is accommodated with large enough leaves. Then tied with leaves that resemble a rope or what is often called a kisbor.

“The resin tree in the language of the Moi tribe is called buok. Since the days of our ancestors, we have used the resin of the resin tree as a means of lighting until now, ”said Obaja Kalami, one of the training participants.

Traditional lighting from resin latex used by community in Malaumkarta Raya (EcoNusa Foundation/Puti Andini)

The presenters encouraged that the unique things that are characteristic of Malaumkarta Raya like this need to be explored deeper to become educational content that can be disseminated through digital platforms. Thus, the general public will be more aware of the potential that exists in Malaumkarta Raya.

Due to internet network constraints, to upload a digital campaign, the people of Malaumkarta Raya have to go to Sorong City so they can get internet access. However, these young people are very enthusiastic about using digital platforms to better introduce their territory to all Indonesian people. The hope is that the natural beauty and cultural uniqueness of the Malaumkarta people, especially the Moi tribe, can be more widely known by the public and can build positive narratives about the life and nature of the Land of Papua.

Editor: Leo Wahyudi & V. Arnila Wulandani

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