Efforts to Fulfill the Rights of the Mamberamo Tribe Children

  • Efforts to Fulfill the Rights of the Mamberamo Tribe Children
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Writer :
Latri M.Margono
Editor :
Intan Qonita N
Translator :
Intan Qonita N

A record of the assessment journey in preparation for the 2022 National Children's Day

Returning to the long journey to the Mamberamo River estuary to assess the needs of preparation for the 2022 National Children's Day, means reopening the story of my teenage years doing hands-on operation (blusukan) around Papua, as well as revealing the existence of children and childhood in the structure of Mamberamo remote indigenous community. Literature on children in minority groups and remoteness is indeed very limited, but at least this travel record can be an input in organizing the commemoration of National Children's Day, especially in Warembori Village, Mamberamo Hilir District, Mamberamo Raya Regency, Papua Province.

The long journey with teammates from the Directorate of Remote Indigenous Communities (KAT) to the Mamberamo River Estuary in Papua was really fun. Not only reopening the mosaics of adolescence, but also applying contemporary ethnography from the combination of immigrants and local communities, so that you can see up close Mamberamo, which is now starting to become multicultural.

The journey starts from Jakarta, Sunday morning (19/6) to Jayapura and stops briefly at Jayapura Social Welfare Education and Training Center (BBPPKS). In the afternoon we continued our road trip to Sarmi Raya, where we took two friends who were going to conduct an assessment of the area for four hours. The journey continues to Sarmi Harbor and by morning, we spend the night at the existing inn. There was no longer any choice, as the two previously targeted inns were full. Considering the various physical endurance conditions of the team members, to be able to travel by sea and river in the early hours of the morning, the departure for Mamberamo Hilir was rescheduled for the next morning in accordance with the rhythm of the tides of sea and river water.

Accompanied by two friends who will be staying in Sarmi Regency, according to the scheduled time on Tuesday morning, the six of us started a sea trip with two engines and a retired engineer on a speedboat owned by the former Regent, and one sea tour guide. The trip, which should have taken between two and three hours, has increased to six hours due to the absence of navigational guides and motorized negligence that is starting to grow old. It's okay, there's still refreshing sea air, as well as the roar of the waves and hope. We are lucky if we can repeat the previous memory of seeing a herd of dolphins, tame mammals that often like to follow the boat or fight the current towards the mouth of the river at dawn.

After being evaluated by the companion Pastor Frans Tanate (GKI Jayapura Synod), a speedboat turning back towards the direction and position of the Mamberamo River estuary, after previously sailing towards the sea. Finally we arrived at the coastal stretch of Warembori Village which is located on the mouth of the Mamberamo River. The arrival of the KAT team was accepted traditionally in Kowata, a ceremony to welcome guests from outside to enter the Warembori Village.

As the ship drew closer to the shore, the mothers raised spears, machetes and large ceramic plates. They pointed the two machetes right under the big toe and whispered for my water shoes to be removed. Whoops…the mothers very swiftly pointed one big toe at two sharp machetes clashing like the gates of the Kopassus complex.

I have complete trust in the two mothers, I am sure that my big toe will not be hurt by it even if it is pressed firmly against the knife blade while it is dripping and finally it is splashed with river estuary water and begins to step on a ceramic plate that is held out and is escorted by Mama carrying a wooden spear. Bismillah, in Your name I have the opportunity to return to the mouth of the Mamberamo River, in the beautiful village of Warembori.

The ceremony did not stop there, but continued with the ceremony to descend the ground. Right under the shade of yellow leaves that stretch across the road, two large machetes are crossed again and my fat thumb is pressed against it in a clockwise direction. The mother's prayer chants rhythmically echoed to the accompaniment of Urure, a song of salvation and welcome joy. After that I was asked to jump over the knife. Hap, like a diving athlete jumping, I landed right on the map sheet on the ground, resembling a picture of Japanese hiragana characters, made of sago. Luther Rumaykewi, my second adoptive father in Papua and the one who gave my family name to Rumaykewi, explained that the image of the sago that I was stamping on was a ghost!

Wow, wow… I have stepped on a ghostttt…

I couldn't imagine at that time that the hiragana-like image was a ghost figure that I had to defeat. If I had been told earlier that the picture was a ghost, I would surely reconsider. I'm afraid of ghosts in Java, let alone ghosts in Warembori, Papua. To comfort my heart, I remember the ritual dance of the spirits that I used to often participate in in Asmat and Korowai. What matters is that by being accepted as a citizen and family in Warembori Village, safety and welfare will accompany me.

The community in Warembori Village, Mamberamo Hilir District is formed through genealogical categories, attachment to each other due to similarities in descent, territory and living together in a certain area. They are formed in genealogical-territorial, in the ties of one lineage and also ties to the area of ​​residence. Geneology is traced both from the father and mother line, while Territorial starts from neighbors to villages. Genological-territorial means that the average village is still a kinship. Village life is very thick with a communal atmosphere. Relationships between individuals in society are generally in the form of associations that are sheltered in the construction of church councils, not based on considerations of interest, but on propriety, harmony, and harmony.

According to Mansur and Keesing, kinship in a society is a pattern of relationships related to ties of descent, marriage, and by will. The kinship system recognizes the core family group and the extended family. The form of a large family consists of the senior core, and the core family of their daughters because the family system follows the customary settlement of patrilocal marriages.

After marriage, a woman stays in the environment of her husband's relatives. Living in one house and one economic unit which is governed by the head of the senior core family. If one of the family members is married, he will move into one room, but still in the same house, and still in economic union with the senior family. At one time this inner family was economically independent and separated from the extended family.

The extended family unit inhabits one core house. Sometimes it doesn't have to be in one house, but in several houses. In Warembori Village, Mamberamo Hilir still practices this system, because in general their family members have livelihoods that do not allow moving to other places.

Luther Rumaykewi as a traditional elder as well as deputy chairman of the Bethel Mamberami Church and former village head explained that the people along the mouth of the Mamberamo River are now starting to become multicultural as the Danbo Tribe, a combination of the results of marriage and acculturation from the Mamberamo, Manado, Ambon and Bugis tribes. They draw a lineage based on the bilateral principle by taking into account the kinship relationship to the male side and the female side. The male group is considered higher than the female group, especially with regard to the distribution of property and family members. Although in fact the kinship relationship is more intimate with male members, it is caused by the settled custom of patrilocal marriage.

The larger kinship group, consisting of people who are still aware of being a descendant of the male line while still interacting. Fellow village members help each other morally, socially, economically and safely. Every time there is a traditional ceremony, it is obligatory in the custom to help manpower, material, and finance and will try to find a way out in the event of a disaster or security disturbance. Currently members of the community are increasingly mobile so that they cannot live in one area and the bonds between each other are starting to tend to decrease. However, the genealogy of relatives is preserved and preserved through the holding of associations related to the individual's life cycle, such as marriage, birth, and death.

Another form of group that is not based on lineage is called a family. The relationship between group members is formed because of the same interests, the same church, comradeship, equality of work, the same village. Often this social relationship is so close that it can be equal, even higher, than the hereditary group which is calculated from generation to generation.

Child protection in the cultural practice of the Mamberamo Hilir community is carried out in stages. If the child cannot be protected by his parents, then the function shifts to his grandparents, either from the father's line or from the mother's line. This function can also be taken over by one of the father's or mother's siblings. In a condition where the child has an older sibling who can afford it, the protection is carried out by the sibling. Children are the shared responsibility of a larger family. Thus, it is hoped that children will always be protected and can live a normal life until they are able to be independent. Children from families who cannot afford the responsibility for protection shift to the community. The function of protecting the community is first taken by the customary leader who is able to support the child to adulthood.

If all these relations do not exist, then the agreement of the church council will support the child in his noviat house, like the pastor's own child while studying religious knowledge. A perfect ideal society construction, but it is still not sufficient in an effort to deal with the existence of children who are in minority and isolated groups. One of the criteria for children to receive special protection in accordance with Law No. 35 of 2014 on amendments to Law No. 23 of 2002 on the Protection of Children's Rights, Article 59 and Child Welfare Law No. 4 of 1979, states that problem children require treatment. special.

The existence of children in minority and isolated groups is a very complex problem in Indonesia, considering the factual conditions indicate the large number of populations and their conditions are alarming. Potential causative factors allow the number to increase. Geography, topography and natural conditions that are far from civilization and experience alienation show increasing fluctuations in various scales. Meanwhile, intervention efforts, especially social support, which prioritizes the best interests of children who are in minority and isolated groups are still very limited. It is still far from respecting and recognizing children's rights, especially the rights of growth and development and participation in the future.

Thus, efforts to organize Community Centers for children from remote indigenous communities, which are a category of children who are in minority and isolated groups who need special protection, is relevant. Several considerations, one of which has a tendency to separate socio-cultural units, are less or not involved, in the community service network.

Children who are in minority groups and isolated are one of the 15 problems of children requiring special protection which is the concern of the Ministry of Social Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia. Specific policies are needed for children in minority and isolated groups that are conducive to each field condition with a mandate to prioritize facilities and infrastructure related to the perspective of efforts to fulfill their rights. Children who are in minority and isolated groups have the same rights as other children, including the termination of the labeling of indigenous Papuan and non-Papuan children.

According to Mead, the world of children is understood as the social world, including socialization. Children actively observe and interact physically and socially as well as obtain information from the process. Furthermore, Mead pays attention to socialization which emphasizes language and giving a role as a means of socializing.

The tendency of Warembori Village children prefers to use the local language in daily communication, especially in playing activities. Through playing and game, children are in a better structure because of the rules of playing. The rules are enforced by the children themselves in order to get out of trouble in the game. Through playing, children can learn to organize and control actions according to applicable rules because they have the ability to share roles, participate in playing and games in childhood.

On average, children really like games using ball media, both tennis balls are used as baseballs, and bigger balls for football. The following is the narrative of the child participants:

"Yes ma'am, I like baseball. There must be rules so as not to cheat... keep winning!"

"It's your turn ma'am...playing becomes fun if you don't cheat...if you cheat, you don't get invited to play again."

Childhood also forms a special structure and becomes a temporary period for the child from the entire period of his life. Childhood is a structural category in society that is permanent, where all children will experience childhood before adulthood. This structure will continue to exist in society as a strength, contributing and an active participation of children. Childhood actively influences and is influenced by events and developments in society.

"Yes, now it's more fun to play with cellphones (smartphones)...there are lots of Pretorian-rich toys, it's fun we can play together, it's not expensive, parents aren't angry either, they're even happy when we play on the computer."

Children begin to develop a culture of peer playing on their own. The war games in the open field is reduced and replaced by the various war games available in smartphone facilities. They become the first generation of digital natives who are literate in information technology, leaving their parents who are still immigrant natives. However, playing war in the environment is still a priority. This child's behavior is supported by parents by providing game applications on smart phones, turning them to have banal behavior. The only ones who counterattacked the various siege of the consumptive industry were churches and schools, where various orders of noble character were still firmly embedded in developing children's character.

The existence of kindergarten, elementary school, and junior high school in Warembori Village and the participation of school children indicate that the various components of the implementation of elementary school education are very sufficient. However, it is very unfortunate that the existence of these schools is still concentrated in residential centers, especially around churches, because they have not yet reached the minority groups and remote areas. It is believed that one of the arrangements that still works in situations of minority and remoteness is school institutions. If children can still access education in the school system, it is possible that they still have the opportunity to learn a normal and natural social order. They are not trapped in the phenomenon of feral man, a human who grows up without an order of values.

Upstream and downstream social ecological support is needed to be able breaking the chain of children who are in minority and isolated groups, especially remote indigenous peoples. In fact, minority groups based on special conditions such as in remote indigenous communities can lead to discriminatory tendencies. Being protected from discrimination is one of the basic rights of children that must be fulfilled where the state must be present because of it. There is no longer a gap between Papuan and non-Papuan children, all Papuan children are great, and so are Indonesian children!

Rewritten in Bekasi, June 30, 2022.
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