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DINGISO “Sacred Animal of the Moni Tribe Ancestors”

by Senaman
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CULTURE AND FAUNA – Papua, which is part of Eastern Indonesia, certainly has natural riches, both flora and fauna, that are different from Central and Western Indonesia. The biodiversity in Papua is said to be an exotic side that is not found in other parts of the world. Moreover, the preservation of forests inhabited by certain tribes has given rise to the term traditional forest which contains many cultures to protect nature. One of the things that is guarded in the lush customary forests in Papua is a type of animal called Dingiso.

The scientific name of Dingiso is “Mbaiso” which means sacred animal. The tribe that makes the Dingiso a special animal is the Moni Tribe. In fact, the Moni tribe believes that Dingiso is their ancestor. Status Dingiso is a very rare animal that means the number of populations decrease from year to year. The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources) has determined that the dingiso is an endangered animal. The type of species of Dingiso is similar to the Kangaroo which originates from Australia. This animal also has a pouch. Physically, the color of the Dingiso is black throughout almost all parts of its body. However, there is a white color that sticks to the mouth, stomach, chest and neck.

Even though they are in the same family as kangaroos, the Dingiso’s habitat and daily habits are more similar to koalas which live in groves of trees and bushes. The Moni tribe forbids hunting of Dingiso because they carry out what they believe, namely that Dingiso is the incarnation of the spirit of their ancestors who will provide salvation if his existence is respected. In addition, Dingiso is rarely seen because this animal is shy. The Moni tribe considers that, like their ancestors who maintain their traditions, the existence of Dingiso is there to remind them that in all times, the Moni tribe must still be able to preserve the nature that has given them life.

However, this belief only applies to the Moni tribe. For other tribes, Dingiso is considered an animal that does not have any special advantages, let alone sacred. So the number of Dingiso continues to decrease due to poaching. The Moni tribe continues to maintain its beliefs by preserving what has been recorded in traditional rules so that in the future the Dingiso will not become extinct because it has protection.

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