Kristina Yoman, a 53-year-old woman from Lanny Region and mother of two daugters, always knit bark splints for producing noken, a Papuan traditional knitted bag, in her spare time. Everyday she works in her garden where is planted with lemongrasses, cassavas, sweet potatoes, galangals and other crops. Then she sells the harvest of her crops every afternoon in the front of shop located in Sentani. Her daughter, who’s not even one year old, always accompanies her.
While waiting for customers, she knits a noken. “I used to make a bark splints noken. In the past, only few people make it. So our income is good enough. But it’s different now. In addition, many people are more likely to by a noken made of yarn from factories,” she told Jubi. She admitted to keep choosing bark splints for her noken. Generally she made it based on order. “In the past, customers liked my creation, therefore they bought it for a gift for their children, sisters, friends and partners. But it’s only a few of customers now. Because many people are now using yarns to make their nokens, as a result, customers prefer to buy those yarn nokens,” she said.
She explained that the process of the production of bark splints noken is quite difficult, and having the bark splints is the most difficult part, because it should be imported from the mountainous areas or Jayapura Region. For these reasons, the quality of materials is not the same. “Some bark splints nokens are washable, while some aren’t. They can be shattered. On the other hands, using yarns is relatively easy. You just buy it and knit it as you wish,” she said.
She usually makes nokens based on the customers’ orders, whether it is a small or big size. Therefore, she always asks her customers before making it. Based on her experience, people mostly like to order the small size than the big one. She told the bark materials are coming from certain trees in the forest, such as kulok, kewa, genemu and so on. Those are usually used in Jayapura. Meanwhile their names could be different in Batom, the border of Pegunungan Bintang and other regions. (*)
Reporter : Yance Wenda
Editor : Pipit Maizier