Home ยป Wati, a Sacred Plant with Various Benefits from the Marind Tribe

Wati, a Sacred Plant with Various Benefits from the Marind Tribe

by Senaman
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Papua has various tribes with their own culture and religion. The tribes spread from one end to the other and live all over the Papua region, including forests, beaches and mountains, and they have many interesting things. One of them is the Marind Tribe in the Merauke region. In addition to traditional houses, rituals and traditional dances, the Marind Tribe has special plants that are considered sacred. The name of the plant is Wati. In fact, the Wati plant is similar to the plants of the Pacific region, namely Kava. However, the tribes of Marind have a special and sacred plants named Wati. Its use also varies in different contexts.

First, using Wati on the social side. Originally, Wati was a plant that could only be planted, harvested and enjoyed by the highest officials of the Marind Tribe. However, after years, all Marind Tribes can use Wati without any social class restrictions. Even today, the Wati is a symbol of closeness and a sign of socialization among the Marind Tribe. When you greet or visit a relative, the Wati becomes an important item that you can enjoy together later. Wati also showed how the Marind Tribe has the privilege of sharing because this plant is something that changes the social relations of the community and makes them stronger.

Second, the use of Wati as a health plant. Wati processing can be done by taking stems and roots. These two parts are then made into a drink or chewed as medicine. When the people of the Marind Tribe feel unwell, such as dizziness, chewing Wati is a magical medicine passed down from generation to generation. Then Wati also became a contraceptive. Fluid from Wati has health effects that can cause infertility. Therefore, only adult, married and childbearing Marind men can drink Wati. After this, the liquid from the Wati plant is allowed to be drunk to prevent pregnancy for a period of time. The liquid from the Wati plant can also be used as a healthy local alcoholic beverage. This drink is usually drunk by adult men of the Marind Tribe after returning home after a long day of work. When the body is tired, drinking Wati liquid will relax the body and induce drowsiness. When you wake up in the morning, your body will feel refreshed and ready to work hard.

Thirdly, Wati also has sacred values that the Marind Tribe believes in. In traditional ceremonies, Wati is also used as one of the plants given as gifts. Wedding ceremonies also inevitably use Wati, namely to prepare this plant as a dowry or gift for the bride and groom getting married.

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