Language and culture are two integral elements, which can not be separated from the life of every person. Everyone, inevitably, was born in an environment of a particular language and culture. It is the same condition existing in Raja Ampay.

Every tribe in Raja Ampat tends to express their ethnic identity and language in accordance with the names of the ethnic groups. One example, every ethnic group tries to mention the language used by the tribal name, although on the other hand they claim that the language they use is also used in other villages or in other islands. This phenomenon is common. Each tribe has always tries to identify their existence to other groups so that their identity is also recognized and appreciated by other groups.

Tribal groups in Raja Ampat also always call their territories according to their own language. In Raja Ampat was found that a place, be it mountain, headlands, bays, islands and others, have different names depending on the ethnic groups living in the surrounding areas. One example is the naming of the islands in the region Waigeo. The name is written in the map and also used today by society in this region, derived from Biak language. However, the natives as Wawiyai people who have customary rights in the region of South Waigeo, calling the islands with its own name according to their language.

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Raja Ampat region is a region that is very unique with a series of islands large and small, which greatly affects both the state of the language and its speakers as well as the cultural and social system that is embraced by the people in this region. In addition, this region is a border region between groups of languages ​​and cultures in the west, namely the language and culture in the Moluccas and groups of languages ​​and cultures in Papua.

With the geographical conditions, which is an archipelago and the most western part of the circuit island big island of New Guinea, Raja Ampat Islands into areas that are anthropological and linguistic is an area that gets the title of diversity (an area of ​​diversity). This diversity is very precise term used to describe the situation of culture and language is a blend of cultures and native languages ​​Raja Ampat with cultural and language brought by immigrants, both from other regions of Papua and outside Papua. This mix of cultures and languages ​​has happened since centuries ago.

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Raja Ampat, is a very popular name for National and International tourists now days. Raja Ampat is so alluring to the extent it is able to steal the attention of many people. Paradise of marine tourism, especially for divers is a nickname for Raja Ampat.

We need to know in addition to the beauty of the natural marine life in Raja Ampat. Raja Ampat has a tradition for generations carried out by tribes living in the Raja Ampat Islands. This tradition can be said a major impact on the aquatic ecosystem in Raja Ampat.

Matbat tribes are tribes in Raja Ampat Islands that can be encountered in Kampung Magey, Lenmalas village, Kampung Salafen, Atkari village, Kampung Folley, Tomolol village, Kampung Kapatcool and Kampung Aduwei. Besides Tribe Matbat we also can find other tribes.

In Salawati island for example, there are Moi Tribe (Moi-Maya), Fiat Tribe, Tepin Tribe, Waili Tribe, Domu Tribe, and Butlih Tribe. In Waigeo Island there are Laganyan, Waiyai Tribe, Kawe Tribe, Ambel Tribe, Biak Tribe, and other tribes such as the Bugis and Buton.

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Raja Ampat cultural and arts in the field of handicrafts is significantly diverse. We can recognize the characteristic of native handicrafts of Raja Ampat from the color and motif. Common color used is the mixture of colors with high contrast such as dark red, dark yellow, light green and light blue. Ornaments motif that is often used in sculpture, carving and batik Raja Ampat is a special motif typical of Papua.

Of the various types of handicrafts in Raja Ampat, there are two types of craft that is in demand by both foreign and local tourists, namely:

  • Woven Hats typical from Arborek Village

This hat is made of a woven material. This rounded hat and often used by women to protect the face and body from sunlight during a trip to the beach. Making this hat is originally spearheaded by an old indigenous person from Arborek island. The hat now becomes a typical hat from Raja Ampat and becomes handicrafts from Raja Ampat produced in groups by mothers in Arborek Island.

  • Batik Papua.

Other crafts are much in demand by tourists who come to Raja Ampat is Batik Papua. In contrast with batik motifs and colors from java that often use natural colors and dark, batik Papua highly desirable because it uses motifs and bright colors typical of the coast. Batik with bright colors is highly recommended to use when you travel on the beach because it will add to the local ethnic element in your holiday photos.

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Tradition Bakar Batu – One of the oldest cultural traditions in Papua, fuel stones, can be regarded as a symbol of gratitude and fraternity. But in certain areas fuel stones usually performed in a ceremonial procession of death.

Tradition Bakar Batu (fuel stones) is a way to use by people in Papua, to cook several types of food (yam, cassava, Pig meat and vegetables) on a rock that has been heated. There is a certain technic and steps to heat the stones such as: setting up a hole to prepare firewood and stones, along with foods that will be cooked. Once the holes are dug, the stones that have been collected are arranged by size. Large stone are placed at the bottom, and at the top will be arranged firewood. The next layer of firewood will be coated again with smaller stones. Then combustion process is carried out to heat the stones. After the stone gets hot, then the food that has been prepared in such a way arranged above the stone. Then after all the foods are cooked, all the participant will eat together as a party or ceremony of something.

Tradition of fuel stones has some title or name that is different for each region, but usually known as Barapen.

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Raja Ampat is famous for its coral islands, one of which is Pianemo. This is where you can see the coral islands with various sizes available in a wide area. The water is clear blue and the scenery is amazing! Communities around Pianemo call it a ‘Small Wayag’. This is because the view from the top of the rocky cliffs, is like a group of islands in Wayag, but in a mini size.

From the capital of Raja Ampat, Waisai, trips to Pianemo can be reached within 2 hours away by speed boat. During the trip to Pianemo, it is like infinite endless blue ocean. Several times we could see silhouette green hilly island, virgin forests, and birds swooping fly doing fish hunt.

The hills above cliffs overgrown trees greeted us upon entering Pianemo. Small coral islands here are generally uninhabited. Cliffs that are still alive, continues to grow and the hills are getting higher every year, explained by our local people guide. There are three commonly used pathway hill tracks here. Hill about 15 meters altitude in Tanjung Bintang, Bald Hill which is about 30 meters, and the highest 40 meters.

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Raja Ampat as part of the province of West Papua on the island of Papua, is rich with variety of cultural arts of music, dance and crafts, typical of Papua that are very exotic. Each tribe scattered in the Raja Ampat islands generally have a dance and tradition practices by themselves.

General characteristics of the dance and music of Raja Ampat is a dance movement that generally shown with a vibrant and accompanied by percussion instruments typical Papua named Tifa, gong (mambokon) and drums (bakulu). In addition to percussion instruments, stringed instruments such as guitars and wind instruments such as flutes and wind instruments of sea shells are also often used to accompany the dance.

Some examples of dances that are often displayed in various ceremonies and reception are the Wor dance, Main Moun, Batpo Dance, dance and art Flute Tambour Yako.

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Raja Ampat is famous for its exotic marine scenery. The clear blue sea and uniquely shaped islands are the main magnets for tourists from around the world.

There is one more attraction that will make tourists curious about these islands in Raja Ampat, especially for the ones who are enthusiastic on history.

Ancient artifacts and burial complex that is thought to be the tomb of Arab traders were recently found by Archaeological Institute of Jayapura in Raja Ampat. The tomb were found in Misool Island. Artifacts and the cemetery were probably derived from the 17th century means, both hundreds of years old.

Excavation of the tomb of the Arab merchants carried out by Jayapura archaeologists in 2014 in Kampung Harapan Jaya, Misool. Through the excavation, archaeologists found 14 tombs merchants from Saudi Arabia.

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Pearls are very beautiful. Therefore, it is not surprising that many people love it, especially for female, pearl is one of Indonesia’s natural valuable resources. Cultivation of pearls are scattered on various islands in the archipelago.

One of them is in the area of Raja Ampat, which is located at the westernmost tip of Papua. Pearls is a leading commodity in this area. There are at least six companies that develop the cultivation of pearls here. Three are foreign companies and the other three are local companies.

Location that pearl are cultured are in Misool District, West Waigeo, and Batanta. In the district of West Waigeo, pearl cultivation are in Aljui region, approximately 70 nautical miles west of the city of Sorong.

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My departure to Papua was certainly approved by my family. Before leaving, my mother advised, “Do not forget to bring orchids for me”, so she said. Initially I only consider passing because I think orchids in Papua, there is also in Java.

This orchid hunting trip I started at the third day of the trip in Papua. The first time I realized that how special orchid Papua was when we visited the Forest Wapsdori. On the way to the waterfall Wapsdori, we saw many kinds of orchids and they are all really beautiful. Instantly I remembered my mother’s message that she wanted orchids. In the forest of Wapsdori, I saw some kinds of ground orchid, tiger and rabbit orchids. I wanted to pick and bring it home. However, I realized that we should not be arbitrary in picking herbs in the forest.

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