Home ยป Koteka Traditional Clothing for Papuan Men in the Mountains

Koteka Traditional Clothing for Papuan Men in the Mountains

by Senaman
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JAYAWIJAYA, PAPUA PEGUNUNGAN – Koteka or Holim as the Jayawijaya people call it and koteka according to the language of the Paniai people is the clothing of the Papua region consisting of 2 regions, namely the Mountain Zone and the Coastal Zone. Koteka or Holim is a typical male clothing, traditional male clothing of the Central Mountains, namely:

  1. Jayawijaya,
  2. Puncak Jaya,
  3. Yalimo,
  4. Dogiyai,
  5. Deyai,
  6. Nabire,
  7. Intan Jaya,
  8. Paniai,
  9. Mimika.

The use of Koteka is as clothing to cover the lower body, especially covering their genitals. Koteka or Holim is made from Chinese pumpkin or kalabasah, remove the contents and dry it to make it hard, the tip is pointed and at the end of the koteka is given chicken feathers or jungle bird feathers whose function is to cover the genitals, there are three ways to use koteka, namely:

  1. Upright symbolizes that the wearer is a real man and is still a virgin (has never had sexual intercourse).
  2. Tilted to the right, symbolizing true male virility has a high social status and nobility.
  3. Tilted to the left, symbolizes middle-class adult men and shows the wearer is a descendant of a warlord.

The function of Koteka or Holim differs from one tribe to another in the Central Mountains of Papua, for example the Dani Tribe in Jayawijaya koteka functions only as clothing while the Yali Tribe in addition to its function as clothing also shows the level of courage of a man marked by a circle of rattan rope that is coiled and wrapped around the stomach and body that wears koteka, another function of Koteka or Holim is to store money by utilizing the remaining space in koteka.

The shape and size of the koteka does not depend on the status of the wearer but is usually related to the user’s activity whether for work or for ceremonies, Koteka for work is slightly short in size while koteka for ceremonies is usually long and full of ornate decorations.

In the 1980s when Regent Wenas with the Clothing Program where the community followed it by wearing cloth clothes, but they returned to the original to wear koteka back on the grounds that wearing cloth clothes became a burden for them because they had to buy soap and wash clothes and other reasons from them also if wearing koteka can bring money because every time guests come and ask for photos with them must be paid, so wearing koteka in addition to being clothes but also make money.

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