Saturday, January 30, 2010

Linda a Norwegian student visited Manokwari artists

This afternoon I accompanied a Norwegian student visiting some Papuan artists in Kota region of Manokwari town. Her name is Linda. It was around 3:20 p.m. when she arrived at my bookstore. She was walking from Hotel Billy when my sister saw her and picked her up. So, they arrived here by a minibus. After talking for a few minutes and looking at some of my and Paul's paintings, I and Linda walked to the home of Mr. Lucky Kaikatui. He is an oil painting artist. Unfortunately he was in Sorong. So, we could only talk to his wife. Linda took some pictures of his paintings. She said that she was interested in the painting of paradise birds but the size of the artwork was too big for her bag. Linda asked if the artist could make similar painting whose size is smaller. But Mr. Kaikatui's wife could not decide whether her husband would paint it nor mention its price. She said that she would call her husband to discuss Linda's request.
Then we continued our trip to the house of Mrs. Fonataba. She is a master of clothes weaving. She learned this skill from Catholic nuns when she was still young. Many of the women who could make hand made woven clothes have died. Perhaps, she is the only woman in Papua island who is able to manually weave clothes from cotton thread as shown in the photo above. She has taught her daughters and other women in Biak and Serui islands on how to weave clothes in order to pass down her skills to young generations. Mrs. Fonataba looked very happy. She was with her daughter and grand-daughters when we met her. I and Linda took some pictures there. Linda bought some bracelet made of orchid's roots and a piece of shawl, all of these items cost Rp. 210,000 (around 21 US dollars). Mrs. Fonataba said that she needs around one week to make a shawl if it was done as her past-time activity. But if she spends her whole day weaving the cloth, she will be able to finish it in three days.
It was going to rain when we walked to Mr. Awom's house which is located next to Suri bakery. He is a wood carving artist. He was about to go somewhere when we met him. Linda bought a photo frame there and also took some pictures of his nice artworks. The price of the frame was Rp. 100,000 (about 10 US dollars). She said that she could not buy bigger carvings because they are too big to be inserted into her backpack.
Across from Mr. Awom's house was Mrs. Kerewai's studio. Unfortunately, we could not meet her because she was still in Jayapura. She had just participated in an exhibition in Papua New Guinea. Her daughter said that she would be in Manokwari again the next day. There were some handicrafts made of sea shells displayed in Ms. Ruth's (the daughter of Ms. Kerewai) kiosk, but she did not buy them because they were too fragile to be brought in her backpack. Linda said that they will be broken when she arrives in Norway. It was raining when we (I and Paul) said good bye to Linda at the Pertokoan cross-road. She walked back to Billy hotel and we walked back up to our homes at Kompleks Missi area.
This beautiful girl is doing research on the possibility of the implementation of UN-REDD program to support communities living around the forest. UN-REDD stands for the United Nations Collaborative Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries. She will be in Manokwari for around three weeks visiting villages, talking to people, seeing the forest and collecting data.

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