Indonesian: Who are we?

February 8, 2008

A very interesting article wrote by Robert Lindsay entitled The Peopling of Indonesia can be used as a first step to further understand the diversity of Indonesia. What I am interested is that, Robert also mentioned about Melanesian and Papuan in his writing, and I am absolutely agree that the people in Indonesia little studied.

As one of several aproaches in explaining ethnicity in Papua, we can distinguish Melanesians and Papuans, see Figure below which clearly put them in separate groups. Also, Melanesian and Papuan teeth are very different from each other. New Guinean or Papuan are closer to Australian natives of Aborigines. Papuan are different from Pacific Islanders. If we go further into the differences in Papua, we will find a huge various of ethnicity inside. Politically, the idea of tribal democracy is very interesting and now Papuan people walk closely to the formation of tribal democracy by forming organization like traditional assembly. Each ethnic group in Papua has its own tribal/traditional assembly and they can chanelled their interest and needs to the democratic government.  Read the rest of this entry »