Indonesia is a Muslim majority country in the world. Although pork is very forbidden in Islam, several regions in Indonesia use pork as the most important commodity in their culture. Pigs have many meanings in indigenous Papuans, both economic, social and cultural significance. Anthropologist and Head of the Technical Implementation Unit of the Loka Budaya Museum, Cenderawasih University, F. Sukoy, S.Sos, M.Sos in Jayapura, Friday said that raising pigs from an anthropological perspective is known as “the culture of raising pigs.
“This culture represents a socio-economic symbol, as well as leadership,” he said.
Furthermore, he explained, as a socio-economic symbol, pigs have a high exchange value and are very valuable compared to other animals.
In various traditional rituals that are often held by the Papuan people, both those who live in coastal, land and mountainous areas, pork must always be there as the main dish besides vegetables and tubers.
In addition, pigs are also used to pay dowries, pay debts and fines as a form of sanction for a case, as well as funerals and also celebrate a bountiful garden harvest.
As a symbol of leadership, the pig can show the degree of a chief.
Sokoy gave an example, the culture of the people of Sentani, Jayapura Regency, which gives the authority to share pork that has been cut at a certain event to those who already have a name.
“The name is the name of the customary structure. In Sentani, the name of the chief in one village who has a strategic position is only five people, and only these five people have the right to share pork,” he explained.
Meanwhile, in the Central Highlands region, women are responsible for caring for pigs like their own children because of the high value considerations.
“Pigs are very important and respected in Papuan and Melanesian culture,” added Sokoy.
With the spread of the H1N1 virus that causes swine flu, Sokoy hopes that the government can immediately take action so as not to threaten the pig farming business that many communities manage in Papua. Come on, get other interesting information from Indonesiar.com.