Sunday, 23 March 2014

Beads for Papua 4 : Good Memory in Wamena and Biak

The 4th part of 4 (the last one) of series of articles "Beads for Papua", continuation from "Beads for Papua 3 : Mama-mama..., Let Us Make Necklaces Together"

After sharing fun, happiness, and joy with Mama-mama in Ilu, we had to return back to Wamena... through that bumpy road.

The morning when we left Ilu... oh, if only I could bring with me that fresh cold air and the people's warmth. I think I left part of my heart there...

This time, the road condition was worst since it was raining everyday during our stay in Ilu... the road was wet! One of our rented car was stuck on the mud, but thank God it didn't take too much difficulties to free it. Then the journey could be continued without any problem.

Nine hours going along the mountains sides, crossing rivers, going through fog on a mountain peak more than 3000 meters above sea level... and passing in the middle of an ancient forest that made us feel as if we were in Jurasic Park... an amazing journey indeed.

In Wamena we had to stay over for two days... we had problems finding seat on the plane to Jayapura. Well, it was approaching Christmas and New Year holidays.

So that made us having time to go enjoying Wamena. My favorite place is Jibama traditional market... the biggest market in Wamena. There I found some young men who make and sell necklaces made from beads. 

Apparently, the price was a little bit expensive... well, everything is kind of "imported" from Jayapura and has to be transported by plane. There is no road from Jayapura to Wamena.

Besides Jibama market, we also went to enjoy the unique culinary dish from Wamena... crayfish!

From Wamena going home to Jakarta via Jayapura. Me and one of my friend decided to stop over for several days in Biak, a small city located on a beautiful coral island... Biak Island.

Here we visited several places, and at the same time having back good memories I had when I was living and working in Biak more than 15 years ago.

Bosnik in East Biak was the first to visit. We were lucky it was market day... As usual a market is, there was people selling food also... hahaha... besides a jewelry and bead lovers, I also a food lover... hehehehee.. 

Packed yellow rice with papaya leaves/flowers and fish, casava barapen (shreded cassava root mixed with shreded coconut and spices, wrapped in banana leaves and grilled to cook), and also chilli squid ... ooooh.... delicious! hahahaa..

And, of course... there was jewelry also!!!and it was interesting because all the jewelry was made by the local people and made using whatever easy to find in Biak... shells and other goodies from the sea.

Using simple techniques, but the result was awesome... and the display tables... just like the display tables we found during jewelry bazaar or exhibition in big cities.

Beads from sea-shells, sea urchin spikes, rattan fibers, bamboo, and some seedbeads... Seeing all those, I started day-dreaming... if only I had time and chance, I want to share the joy of the Beads for Papua again here in Biak... I hope someday... in God will.

The ones that look like forks on the picture above are the traditional combs made from bamboo. Interesting and unique, no...? Other than earrings and necklaces, there were hairpins, hairclips, and cute little pot to keep chalk for betel-nut eating (the local people customs). And see... it was made recycling pop soda drink plastic bottle.... Oh, oh, oh... big saluts and respects for mama-mama in Biak!

From Bosnik market, we stopped by at a white-sandy beach not far from the market... to enjoy the pretty view. Here I found something I had not expected before... sea-glass!!

Apparently, this beach is a place for the youngs to gather and they brought some drinks to enjoy on the beach. The broken glasses from the bottles were sand by the sand with the wave movement... slowly sanded by nature... resulting in doff surface and rounder shape... oh oh oh... how happy I was, and started collecting some... an unexpected treasures from Bosnik beach in Biak.

From Bosnik beach, we headed to the Second World War Monument, built by the Japan Government in memories of their soldiers who died in Biak during the Second World War.

Inside the monument, there are 7 ashes of Japanese soldiers. Every year their family still visiting, bringing with them some memorable items and crafts... and I saw several Senbazuru, 1000 origami cranes hung on the sides of the boxes. And they are so beautiful... made me almost cry.

In fact, we visited more places in Biak... Bird Park, some more pretty beaches in West Biak and North Biak... Sebenarnya banyak lagi tempat-tempat di Biak yang kami kunjungi... Taman Burung, Pantai Biak Barat, Pantai dan air terjun di Biak Utara.... Indonesia is really beautiful!! But onlu those three places related to bead and jewelry.

Once again, thank you very much to all kind-hearted friend who generously donated beads for Mama-mama in Ilu, and friends from the Indonesian Red Cross who joined hand in hand making necklaces for the Mama-mama health caders in Ilu... they sent their best wishes and regards and their huge thanks... Lili Krist Manik Jawa, Mikko Wiropati, Febrini A. Risyad, Isworo Larasati, Tanti Saraswati, Tanty Sri Hartati.... God bless you all.

<The End>

A story from my journey, Esterina Jagiella, almost three weks in Papua in December 2013.


  1. What a great stories Mak =)
    God bless you too Mak, cause because of you I knew them.

    1. It was my joyfull duty to share all of this wonderfullness through this story... my blessing indeed. And part of it was dedicated to you too Lili for your beads made Mama-mama happy too :)