Friday, January 22, 2010

Russian Travelers Visited the Artists in Manokwari

Manokwari has a number of artists that make good quality artworks or handicrafts which tourists should visit. Today, I accompanied Mike, Inga and Dima (three Russian eco-travelers) who like to explore the tropical rainforest of Papua) to meet some of these artists. The first one that we met in the morning was the house of Mr. Lucky Kaikatui. He is a painter specializing in oil painting. He has just moved to his new home in Kompleks Missi. When we arrived at his house, we could only see some of his paintings hanging on the walls, one of them was the Paradise bird while others were the about the natural scenery and the traditional Papuan villages. The Russian tourists could not buy them due to the sizes which are too big to be loaded into the passenger cabin of an airplane .
Then we continued our trip to see Kuskus, an endemic animal of Papua island. We took some photos of it. After that we ate lunch in the canteen of Orchid. Having finished eating the fried rice and the bakso noodle, these Russian tourists continued their trip to Raimuti island . They swam there until the sunset accompanied by Paul Warere - a drawing artist whom I have trained to be the local guide.
At night, I accompanied them again to visit Mrs. Fonataba's house. She is a master of traditional hand-made woven cloth. This cloth has beautiful ornaments which Papuan like to use as dowry. Mrs. Fonataba was very happy by our coming. She asked her grand-daughter to wear the traditional cloth to be shown to us.
Inga said that she was interested in buying the woven cloth which the little girl was wearing around her chest. Hearing the Inga's request, the mother of this little girl took off the cloth and gave it to Inga. After asking the prices of the woven clothes which Mrs. Fonatabe put on the table, Mike, Dima and Inga bought the necklace, bracelet, and the clothes worth Rp. 500,000 (or around 50 US dollars).
inga-in-manokwari.jpgIt was quite late when we continued walking to Mr.Asaribab's house. Here, I took some photos of them examining the wood carvings. Inga, Mike and Dima bought two wooden plates with reliefs in them and one small wooden statue. Mr. Asaribab's looked very happy to see that. They spent another 50 US dollars for these wooden carving souvenirs. When we have returned to Penginapan Kagum that belongs to my family, I suggest to Mike not to buy the skin of animals or live animals. Tourists have to be smart buyers. They should not buy such souvenirs as birds or animals, reptile skins or dead corals. They can buy souvenirs such as woven cloth, carvings and paintings that are made out of the artists creativity.
manokwari-wood-carving.jpgI strongly support the development of tourism in Manokwari but this kind of tourism has to be friendly with the surrounding environment. The industry that encourages the development of Papuan artist's creativity in Manokwari. If you are interested in visiting Manokwari of West Papua to enjoy the natural beauty of this region and you need a guide to accompany you, then I can be your guide. You can contact me - Charles Roring through my email: or my cell phone number: +62 81 332245180.

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