Unesco has placed noken, a traditional multifunctional woven bag from Papua, on its “List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding.”
The listing was made official during a Unesco
session in Paris on Tuesday, the UN body said in a statement published
on its website.
Noken is a knotted net or woven bag handmade from
wood fiber or leaves, by people in the Indonesian provinces of Papua
and West Papua.
Men and women use it for carrying produce, fish,
firewood, babies or small animals, as well as for shopping and storing
things in the home. Noken may also be worn, often for traditional
festivities, or given as peace offerings.
“The number of people making and using noken is diminishing, however,” Unesco said.
threatening its survival include lack of awareness, weakening of
traditional transmission, decreasing numbers of craftspeople,
competition from factory-made bags, problems in easily and quickly
obtaining traditional raw materials, and shifts in the cultural values
of noken,” it added.
The inclusion of noken on the list, Unesco
says, is expected to help mobilize international cooperation and
assistance for stakeholders to undertake appropriate safeguarding
Indonesian Deputy Education and Culture Minister Wiendu
Nuryanti, who attended the Paris session, said Indonesia first
submitted the proposal to put noken on Unesco’s World Heritage list four
years ago, and it was revised several times since then.
at 10:30 a.m. Paris time, noken was acknowledged by Unesco. The
Indonesian delegation [attending the session], including from Papua, and
all of us Indonesians must thank God and be proud of Papua for this,”
Wiendu wrote of the achievement in a text message sent to Indonesian
news portal antaranews.com.
“We’ll work together with various
parties to increase the selling value of Papua’s noken. For example, we
will join hands with Indonesian designers to make noken a material or
accessory for their fashion works,” she added. (Jakarta Globe)