PAPUAAROUND — Let’s take a closer look at the tribes in Papua. In Papua there is the Sobey tribe who are known as reliable sailors. They conquered the seas with the Sarmi boat.
What is a Sarmi boat like? Let’s review.
Sarmi is a city on the north coast of Papua, directly facing the Pacific Ocean. Sarmi has good waves for surfing, so Sarmi is also known as the city of waves.
Sarmi is home to the Sobey tribe who are known as expert sailors. Traditionally, the Sobey tribe has local wisdom in terms of fishing. This local wisdom has been passed down from generation to generation.
By reading the signs of nature, they know when is the right time to go to sea, knowing the direction of the winds, as well as the location of waters that are the habitat of tiger shrimp.
The Sobey tribe has a traditional boat with double outriggers, outriggers on the left and right sides of the boat as a counterweight. The boat is also called the Sarmi boat.
This boat is decorated with very beautiful carvings and given natural colors. The carvings are motifs of coral reefs, marine life, birds, and mythological animals related to the story of their ancestors.
Besides beautifying the boat, the motifs also mark the boat’s ownership. An interesting motif is the lobster motif. This lobster motif carved on the body of the boat serves as a reminder or signpost for fishermen to be careful while at sea.
Fishermen must learn from lobsters, when conditions are safe, lobsters move forward, when conditions are dangerous, lobsters move back as quickly as possible.
When the Sobey fishermen go to sea and suddenly there is a storm or bad weather, the fishermen will immediately return to the shore to wait for the weather to improve.
Today, the traditional boats of the Sobey tribe are made in miniature. These miniature boats become souvenirs for tourists visiting Sarmi.
Each miniature boat is valued at Rp 300,000 – Rp 1 million, depending on the type of wood used and the level of complexity in making it.