The Kapotar Island in Papua, from the Banana Phenomenon Facing Upward until the Breaking of Customs

goodmorningpapua.com – A researcher from the Papua Archaeological Center, Hari Suroto, said that one of the interesting and unique islands in Papua is Kapotar Island. This small island with white sandy is part of the Moora Archipelago located south of Cenderawasih Bay, Nabire, Papua.

“An archaeological research on Kapotar Island shows that in prehistoric times, this island was once inhabited by humans,” said Hari who is also a lecturer in Archeology at Cenderawasih University. The proof, according to his report, is that the Momorikotey Site is estimated to have existed on Kapotar Island since about 3000 years ago.

Kapotar is an empty island. There is only a garden house, a place to rest when the owner is active. Hari Suroto explained, there is a unique belief on this island. The people of the Moora Islands believe that anyone who comes to Kapotar Island for the first time must wash their feet, hands and face with sea water on the coast of Kapotar Island.

If not, people believe that the ancestral spirits of the islanders will be angry. As a result, in the evening until the night there will be thunderstorms and powerful lightning. This thunderstorm will stop if people violating these customary rules wash their feet, hands, and face with sea water. However, according to Hari, it would be better if the arrivals immediately washed their limbs or bathed at the beach at the same time when they arrived.

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Hari Suroto said that he had experienced thunderstorms with his team while researching Kapotar Island. At that time, Hari said, there was a team member who refused to wash his hands, feet and face when he arrived on the island. “So in the evening, there was a thunderstorm accompanied by lightning around our camp,” he said.

Kapotar Island has endemic bananas that are different from the bananas we are used to. Bananas from Kapotar Island have fruit stalks growing perpendicular to the sky. It is about 20 – 30 centimeters long with a diameter of 5 – 10 centimeters.

Kapotar Island bananas have thick skin, orange flesh, soft texture like butter, and not too sweet. The still young Bananas are green, while those that are ready to harvest are dark brownish yellow. Based on biomolecular analysis, this banana of Kapotar Island comes from New Guinea and Melanesia. In prehistoric times, bananas were widely cultivated with breadfruit and taro in the South Pacific islands.

People use Kapotar Island as an area for gardening and tourist destinations. Every weekend, there are tourists coming to enjoy the white sand on the coast of this island. As for his garden products, among others, coconut, sky stick banana, sago, and areca nut. Those who grow crops on Kapotar Island are residents of Mambor Island living in the south of Kapotar Island.

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