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It was the Spaniard Ynigo Ortiz de Retes who, in 1545, gave the name Nueva Guinea to a strip of land on the north coast of the world’s second largest island (after Greenland), which is now half Indonesian, half Papua New Guinean territory. Papua, the western half of the island, is Indonesia’s biggest province of about 410,000 square kilometers, representing almost 21 percent of the country’s total land area. More than 75 percent of the land is covered by dense tropical forests, with only about 1.5 million people, with an average population density of 2.8 persons per square kilometer, the lowest in Indonesia. Jayapura, the neat provincial capital on a hillside overlooking the bay, is 3,520 kilometers away from Jakarta.
Papua is a land of exceptional natural grandeur. Its jungles are among the wildest, most impenetrable in the world. Eternal snow capped mountain ridges more than 5,000 meters high, with walls plunge hundreds of meters down onto floors filled with small glacier lakes. It has scenic beaches in abundance as well as immense stretches of marshlands. Cool grassy meadows lie at the foot of the towering mountains. Rivers cut through dark forests until their sluggish, crocodile infested mouths disgorge the water into the sea.
The highest peak of the central mountain range is Puncak Jayawijaya (5,500 meters). Second and third are Gunung Trikora (5,160 meters) and Gunung Yamin (5,100 meters), respectively. The biggest lake is Paniai, followed in order of declining size by the lakes Ronbenbai and Sentani, both in the vicinity of Jayapura, and Anggigita near Manokwari.
On the basis of physical features and differences in language, customs, artistic expression and other aspects of culture, the indigenous people of Papua are distinguished into about 250 sub-groups, although they all belong to the Melanesian race, and are related to the people inhabiting the islands along the southern rim of the Pacific. The Negritos are believed to have settled on the island first, probably some 30,000 years ago, followed by the Melanesians.
The people of the central highlands still maintain their ancestral customs and traditions, and are virtually untouched by alien influences. Most of the changes have so far taken place among the coastal people, who are being subjected to ever increasing contacts with the world outside. This process of change is being accelerated by the work of missionaries, who have been working for many decades among the local populations. The people of the north and west are mostly Protestants, while those of the south and of the hinterland around Enarotali are Roman Catholics. Those around Fakfak and the Raja Ampat Islands are mostly Moslem. Animism is still practiced by isolated tribes in various parts of the province.
Although Papua is famed for its Bird of Paradise, the province’s fauna is not particularly rich. Almost all the animals here are of the Australian fauna type. Copper, oil, timber and sea products like fish and shrimps are among the province’s main products.
|A lake created by a fault in the earths’ crust|
Lake Sentani, near Jayapura at the northeastern extremity of Papua, lies at an elevation of 73 m in a fault-controlled depression mainly in Mesozoic mafic and ultramafic rocks of the Cyclops Ophiolite Belt. It is bounded by the Cyclops Mountains block to the north and the lower-standing terrain of the New Guinea fold thrust belt to the south. An irregularly shaped body with approximate maximum dimensions of 28 km (E-W) by 19 km (N-S) and a surface area of 10,400 ha, Lake Sentani is by far the largest of the Papua lakes. It is fed by a catchment area of about 600 km2 and has one outlet only, via the Jafuri and Tami rivers to the Pacific Ocean near the Papua New Guinea border.
The lake is divisible into three main sectors with maximum recorded depths of 7 to 52 meters. Average annual rainfall around the lake is about 2 meters and lake level fluctuates about 0.4 m with seasonal variation in inflow. The lake is widely believed to have evolved by the tectonic damming and uplift of an arm of the sea, but such a connection has not been demonstrated.
Because of its proximity to the provincial capital and the large population around it, Sentani is the best studied of Papua lakes.
The most recent survey recorded 33 species of fish, of which 12 are indigenous, 8 anadromous and 13 introduced. Surveys over a 1 year period have shown an increase in introduced species but the impact on the total fish population has not been documented. Sawfish (Pristis microdon) up to 3 m or more were well known in the lake until the Seventies and are a common motif in traditional Sentani art, but appear to have become extinct. Fish are extensively raised in ponds and cages around the perimeter of the lake and the introduction of species (particularly carp and tilapia) has been both accidental and intentional.
Many of the Sentani people, who inhabit the islands, perimeter and environs of the lake, still have a traditional subsistence economy based on fishing and sago harvesting. This has been sustainable for centuries but local reports suggest that catch yields have diminished in recent years. Whether this is a result of overfishing (as a result of population growth and/or market pressure), pollution or introduction of foreign species is not established.
Many of the residents occupy dwellings built on posts over the lake, which thus serves as a depository for sewage, leading to locally high coliform counts but also to nutrient enrichment. Water hyacinth (Eichornia crassipes), introduced since the early Seventies, has become a major plant pest and may be contributing to decline of some species. Much of the mountainous terrain between the north shore of the lake and the ocean falls within the Cyclops Strict Nature Reserve.
A major sustainable development issue for the inhabitants of the lake and surroundings is the existing proposal to build a hydroelectric generating facility, by means of a dam on the Jafuri River to divert the lake drainage eastward through a canal to a power station and thence to an outlet at the sea in Yotefa Bay near Jayapura. Several feasibility and environmental impact studies have yet to totally define the cost/benefit consequences of this project.
|Papua 4 Musea|
|* Asmat Culture Museum|
* Jayapura Provincial Museum
* Jayapura Loka Budaya Museum
* Baliem Valley Wamena Museum
East Papua Agats Asmat Culture Museum
|The Asmat Museum of Culture and Progress (AMCP) is located in the city of Agats, in the Papua province of Indonesia. It was conceived by the Crosier missionary Frank Trenkenschuh in 1969 as a way to preserve traditional Asmat art as well as provide economic outlets to the Asmat people. It was built by the Diocese of Agats-Asmat, which also owns the museum. The American artist Tobias Schneebaum and Ursula Konrad helped in establishing the museum and it officially opened on August 17, 1973. The museum has catalogued approximately 1,200 items to its collection. |
The current director, as of 2007, is Eric Sarkol with John Ohoiwirin as assistant.
Jayapura Provincial Museum
|The Museum Jayapura is located on the Cenderawasih University campus|
|offers exhibits on a great variety of traditional equipements, historical and archeological relics, art artifacts and artists’ tools, ceramics and pottery, as well as a collection of books in the museum’s library.Abepura (between Jayapura and Sentani), is the best place for ethnographic pieces and Asmat arts from Rockefeller Foundation.|
Jayapura Loka Budaya Museum
|The Cenderawasih Muceum (Loka budaya) offers|
you a insight into Papuan ethnography and culture.
It has more than 1500 artifacts ranging from old
items to new items recently collected and donated by the Rockefeller family
Baliem Valley Wamena Museum no info
Proposed World Heritages
Raja Ampat Islands West Papua
|Date of Submission: 07/02/2005|
Submission prepared by:
Ministry of Emvironment
N 0°30′ – S 1° E 124°30′ – 131°30′
The Raja Ampat Islands, situated near the Northwest coast of Papua, consists of about 1,500 islands, including several large, mountainous islands, the largest being Waigeo, Batanta, Salawati and Misool. The land and surrounding sea occupy approximately 46,000 km2 or about 4.6 million ha. The islands are located in a region on the western boarder of the equatorial Pacific Ocean and at the Northeastern ‘entrance’ of the Indonesian Throughflow from the Pacific to the Indian Ocean. The vast majority of the archipelago rests on the Sahul shelf. The wide distribution of small islands across the shelf edge creates a strong gradient from clear water, open oceanic conditions to sheltered and turbid bays, surrounded by krast limestone formations.
Raja Ampat was declared as a new regency or district on 8 May 2003 and consists of 10 sub-districts with a total of 85 villages spread out in over approximately 6% of the islands in the regency. The census in 2001 showed that total population in Raja Ampat was 47,771 with an average increase rate of 0.32% (Pemda Raja Ampat, 2002).