How useful plants to the indigenous community at the Mamberamo, Papua Indonesia?

Agustina A.Y.S Arobaya (Department of Forest Management, Faculty of Forestry UNIPA) & Freddy Pattiselanno (Faculty of Animal Science, Fishery and Marine Science UNIPA)

Study on biological and other natural resources was conducted in Mamberamo from 4 – 28 September 2004. Three sites were visited: Dabra (03016’S 138036’E), Taiyeve (03014.06’S 138026.62’E) and Fokri-Baso (03005.08’S 138050.12’E) villages of the Mamberamo Hulu District of Kabupaten Sarmi, Papua to provide baseline information on development of this area.

The present paper aims to inform the results of our observation on ethnobotany aspects of the Dasigo ethnic group at the Mamberamo, Papua. Information on ethnobotany aspect concerning the relationship between people and forest was obtained by the semi-structured interview by interviewing primary informants – villagers (chosen randomized among local people in the study site) and the key informants including highly respected and high status people within the villages, village leaders, tribe leaders, church leaders, highly educated people and the government officers.

Direct observation to the plantation area around the study site to observe particular species growth and used by local people was also conducted to cross check the interview results.  Supporting data was tracked trough secondary data by review of supplemented literature from previous study.  Herbaria specimen was collected to identify anonymous plant species observed in the field.  Identification was done in the Manokwariense Herbarium to complete checklist specimen found during the survey in Mamberamo. Results of this study are presented in Table 1.

Table 1. List of useful plants for Dasigo Tribe in Mamberamo

Family Species Utilization
Acanthaceae Abelmochus manihot (L) Medik. Vegetable
Acanthaceae Gendarusa vulgaris Ness Ornamental
Anacardiceae Dracontomellon edule Construction material
Arecaceae Arenga sp. Rope for binding fence
Arecaceae Areca catechu Linn Edible fruit
Arecaceae Calamus sp. String for fasten trap
Arecaceae Colocasia esculenta (L) Schott. Edible fruit
Arecaceae Metroxylon sago Rottb. Traditional food
Arecaceae Cocos nucifera L. Edible fruit, dry branch for fuel wood
Arecaceae Caladium bicolor (W.Ait) Vent. Ornamental
Arecaceae Xanthosoma sagittifolium Schott. Edible fruit
Brommeliaceae Ananas comoscus (L). Merr. Edible fruit
Burseraceae Canarium acutifolium (DC). Merrr Edible fruit
Caricaceae Carica papaya L. Vegetable, edible fruit
Combretaceae Terminalia complanata Construction material
Datiscaceae Octomeles sumtrana Construction material
Euphorbiaceae Antidesma montanum Bl. Garden fence, fuel wood
Euphorbiaceae Macaranga mappa M.A. Leaves for wrapping, fire wood
Euphorbiaceae Jatropha curcas L. Ornamental
Euphorbiaceae Codiaeum variagetum (L.) Bl. Ornamental
Fabaceae Intsia bijuga Construction material
Fabaceae Pterocarpus indicus Construction material
Gnetaceae Gnetum gnemon L. Vegetable
Lauraceae Cinnamomum culilavan Bl. Oil extract from bark
Lauraceae Cryptoria massoy (Oken.) Kosterm.
Maranthaceae Phacelophyrnium maximum (BI.) K. Schum Roof construction
Meliaceae Aglaia sapindina (F.&M.) Harms Fuel wood
Moraceae Artocarpus communis Forst. Vegetable food
Moraceae Artocarpus integer (Thunb.) Merr Fruit
Moracea Ficus sp. Fuel wood
Moraceae Paratocarpus venosis Becc. Kitchen utensils
Musaceae Musa spp Fruit
Myrtaceae Psydium guajava L. Fruit
Nyctaginaceae Bougainvillea spectabilis Wild. Ornamental
Piperaceae Piper betle L. Chewing plants
Poaceae Zea mays L. Food
Podocarpaceae Podocarpus blumei Construction material
Rubiaceae Coffea robusta Linden Beverage
Rubiaceae Gardenia jasminoides Ellis Ornamental
Rubiaceae Morinda citrifolia L. Fruit, medicinal
Rutaceae Citrus nobilis Lour. Fruit
Sapindaceae Pometia pinnata J.R. & G. Frost Fruit
Sterculiaceae Sterculia sp. Garden fence, fuel wood
Sterculiaceae Theobroma cacao L. Fruit, beverage
Verbanaceae Duranta erecta L. Ornamental
Zingiberaceae Alpinia galangal (L.) Swartz Spice, Medicinal
Zingeberaceae Curcuma domestica Sw. Food, spice
Zingiberaceae Zingiber officinalis Rosc.  Spice, medicinal

Nine species have been identified as construction material (house and fence), whereas two among those species have also been utilized as fuel wood.  Particular species were commonly utilized for building material distributed fairly among the Papua region acknowledged as high quality wood (Octomeles sumatrana, Terminalia complanata, Podocarpus blumei and Intsia bijuga).  Certain part of species that mostly used for construction (branch and small stem) can also be used for fuel wood.  In this study we only noted four species that have been using for fuel wood. Fruit and leaves of two among four species recognized earlier, were also used for other purposes (food and wrapping materials).

Nineteen species have been consumed as edible fruit, vegetable and traditional food as well by the tribe.  Some species were commonly used in Indonesia such as banana, cacao, citrus, pineapple, papaya and coconut, while others were locally consumed and utilized by certain ethnic group occupied the eastern part of Indonesia.  For example, Colocasia, Xanthosoma, sago, canary, beetle nut and piper.

We recorded only three species used together as therapeutic items, spice and edible fruit as well.  Using plant for ornamental purpose was playing an important role among ethnic groups in Papua, because local people was dependently on local tradition and culture that require natural resources (plant and animals) for the traditional ritual and cultural ceremonies.  During the survey, seven species have been identified using by the Dasigo as ornament materials.

In this survey, we also recognized three species using for spice and one species for beverage that widely used among other Indonesian ethnic groups. Other five species classified under other purposes usually use as rope, string, oil, utensils and chewing plants.  Pinang (Piper betle L.) not only used by Dasigo, but also utilized by other ethnic groups in Papua as well.


Naskah lengkap dipublikasi di Jurnal Baccariana 9 (1); 1-4, 2007

Gambar dalam naskah diambil dari website

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