Jakarta – An exhibition at Darmawangsa Residence in South Jakarta brings the art of Papua's Kamoro tribe to the capital and lets visitors place bids on sculptures and plait work from Indonesia's far east.
Initiated by the Lontar Foundation in collaboration with the Maramowe Weaiku Kamorowe Foundation and gold and copper mining company PT Freeport Indonesia (PTFI), the event displays the culture and traditional art of the Kamoro people, a tribe residing in the southern coastal area of Papua in Mimika regency, adjacent to PTFI's work area, in a bid to promote local culture and the spirit of gotong royong (mutual cooperation).
The tribe is known for its rituals, traditional ceremonies, dances, handicraft and beautiful sculptures. Many of the sculptures, including shields, paddles, sago bowls, drums and everyday items, are displayed in the exhibition, as well as traditional handicraft creations, such as wemawe (human-shaped statues) and mbitoro (totems made for the ancestors).
"The art and culture of the Kamoro tribe have become potential tourist [attractions] in Mimika regency. The quality of Kamoro sculptures is as good as the Asmat carvings. The synergy between the stakeholders in Timika and the development of Kamoro sculptures as seen in this event can provide economic benefits to the Kamoro people," said Muhammad Thoha, head of the Youth, Sports and Tourism Agency in Mimika, in a statement.
An auction for 100 works of art was also held during the event. The founder of the Maramoke Weaiku Kamorowe Foundation, Luluk Intarti, said half of the profits gained would be returned to the sculptors and the other half would go to Kamoro's art development and preservation program.
"Kamoro artwork is one of the adhesives of Indonesian diversity. Hopefully, people can get to know more about Indonesia's cultural treasures through this event," said PTFI president Tony Wenas.
The Kamoro tribe's cultural exhibition commenced on Thursday and will be open to the public until Saturday. (vel/kes)