Papua’s Tutari Megalithic Site, Evidence of Early Human Culture

Papua's Tutari Megalithic Site
This Tutari Megalithic Site is located in Doyo Lama Village, Waibu District, Jayapura Regency. (Suroto / Special Day)

Papua’s Tutari Megalithic Site

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta – The Tutari megalithic site has become a tourist area that stores the cultural history of the people on the edge of the Sentani River during prehistoric times, to be precise the late neolithic era. The location of this site is in a hilly area, in Doyo Lama Village, Waibu District, Jayapura Regency, Papua.

“At that time, humans had started to live farming, in groups, settled, and lived together in villages. The cultural history can be seen from the remains in the Tutari Megalithic Site, “said Hari Suroto, a researcher from the Papua Archeology Center, to Tempo, Sunday, December 8, 2019.

Eucalyptus trees, black stones, and thatch grass filled this location. All three adorn the right and left of the road, from the entrance to the location of the highest site. The roads that have been built also make it easier for visitors to browse through each part of the site.

At some point there are huts available to rest. Several huts are located at an altitude with views overlooking the expanse of Lake Sentani. Given the name Tutari because it is located in Bukit Tutari, besides that it is said that the tribe who once inhabited the area around this site is the Tutari tribe.

The Tutari tribe obtains food by hunting, catching fish, raising livestock, and cultivating crops. At that time this site was used as a place of worship. The Tutari tribe itself has been wiped out due to tribal wars.

“The people of Doyo Lama who currently live around the site are not of the Tutari tribe. They believe that some of the Tutari tribe has turned into the stones that are now on the site, ”said Hari. “The people of Doyo Lama believe that this site is sacred, until now the myths about the Tutari tribe and the ancestors of the Doyo Lama people have been passed down from generation to generation to the younger generation.”

Menhir at the Tutari Megalithic site. Credit: Papua Archeology Center

Relics at this site include painted stones, boulders in the shape of statues, lined stones and menhirs (standing stones). “In Papua and Papua New Guinea (PNG) this model is only here. The area is vast and the legacy can be seen directly, “said Hari.

The Papua Archaeological Center classifies the relics on this site into 6 sectors. Sector 1, 2 and 3 is the location of the painting stones. This sector was the earliest encountered during a visit. The motifs of the paintings also vary.

There are motifs of humans, half-fish, animals, plants, and cultural objects such as bracelets, stone axes and geometric motifs such as circles and the sun. Everything is an expression of human knowledge at that time about the natural surroundings. The meanings of these motifs are written in the Papuan Archeology Journal entitled Meanings of Tutari Megalithic Painting Motifs.

The next relic is a stone boulder in the form of a statue in sector 4. Each of these boulders has the shape of a head, neck and body. “Also called ondoafi stones and there are four of them. The four stones are believed to represent the four ondoafi warlords Uii Marweri who defeated the Tutari tribe, namely Ebe, Pangkata, Wali and Yapo, ”added Hari.

While the lined stones are in sector 5, which forms two rows with an orientation extending between the northwest and the southwest. It is located between the location of the painting stone and the standing stone. This line of stones is believed to be a connecting way between the human world and the realm where the spirits of the ancestors reside.

Whereas in sector 6, site location has the highest. In prehistoric times, the highest place was believed to be the most sacred or holy place. “Here there are 110 standing stones supported by small stones. The stone is oval with various sizes and is believed to be the place for the ancestral spirits to reside, ”said Hari

Deminaus Marweri, ubuafa (spokesperson) ondoafi Busainerep in Kampung Doyo Lama expressed his hope that this site will continue to be preserved and preserved. “There needs to be socialization from the government to the public that this site has meaning, has value. This is history, this is a civilization that has ever happened, “he said.

Traditionally there are four tribes from Kampung Doyo Lama who are in charge of guarding this megalithic site, namely Wali, Pangkata, Ebe and Yapo.

Papua’s Tutari Megalithic Site

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This Blog has gone through many obstacles and attacks from violent Free West Papua separatist supporters and ultra nationalist Indonesian since 2007. However, it has remained throughout a time devouring thoughts of how to bring peace to Papua and West Papua provinces of Indonesia.

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