Meyah live in Ayai village, Tambrauw district in West Papua. This tribe maintains the wisdom of local culture by building customary schools. This school serves to preserve the sacred values and cultural heritage of the ancestors to the younger generation of this tribe. All these generations must study in this school. This school is referred to as Wuon. It is a traditional house for men to learn local wisdom and traditional values. The customary head in the village says that adat is the values of wisdom that can be a journey for a phase of life and that culture must be guarded by this tribe. The culture must be nurtured by all tribes in order to survive for many years.
Center for Cultural Learning
The values of local wisdom are not conveyed in written form but the moral message is conveyed in norm norms so that the culture can become a grip in everyday life. This school does not recognize the age limit because the child in the mother’s womb can learn in this school. The tribe says that the culture must be taught from childhood. Babies should get special treats such as diet and dietary restrictions to be obeyed by pregnant women. The baby will be exiled from the village until the age of 15 years. The child will be sent to Wuon with the greatest distance from this village. Usually, Wuon distance is 15 to 30 km from the village.
Customary schools are divided into three stages. Each stage takes three months, six months and one year. If there are people who already have a family, then the couple who comes from the adat school participants must follow the rules in the school. If a husband follows this school, then the rule must also be followed by the wife who lives in the village. If the person has an accident or died while attending a customary school, then the family will not be angry. The family believed that the incident was caused because the school participants had violated the rules in force at the school. The incident can bring disaster.
These are the sacred values for cultural education in the tribe so that the school’s participants must have a strong mentality. Participants must reach an agreement with the family before leaving for the school. Families should be able to accept the consequences when the participant is sick or dies. This is an accident that can happen to the school. If the participants violate the school rules, then educators will not be afraid to give severe punishment. Participants who successfully graduate from this school will be appreciated by the villagers. The participant has gone through obstacles during the school and the participant must be awarded. There are many people in the village that cannot face the education so that participants who graduate from the school will be greeted by a lively party. Customary schools also apply throughout the land of Papua. Humbold Bay established a school called Rumah Karawary to provide education to youth and youth. Rumsram is a school in Byak to educate youths who will conduct the Wor ceremony. This is a ceremony to cut the ends of the genital skin of a boy. Dominggus said that these customary schools have disappeared from the culture of several tribes. The Meyah are the only tribe that retains this culture.
Clans of Meyah Tribe
This tribe is a sub-tribe of a large tribe called the Arfak. This is a native inland Manokwari District. There are some local oral sources that reveal that this tribe originated from two male men named Ndifan and Ndin. The man is a native of the Anggi region. This area is the residence of the Sougb tribe. Ndin married a woman who lived in a coastal area called Wonggor. The marriage gave birth to a boy named Brim. Brim produces descendants called the tribe of Meyah and Moile with the Wonggor clan. Ndifan married a woman named Mpgot. The woman comes from Minyambouw and has a son who is referred to as Mbrdin. Mbrdin has a descendant called the Moile tribe with the Wonggor clan. Moile people say that this tribe is a descendant of Sougb with a beach with the Wonggor clan. Oral sources say that Wonggor comes from seawater crocodiles. There are other clans belonging to this tribe. The clans consist of Mandacan, Ayok, Bikiouw, Ullo, Pungwam, Tibiay, and Indow. The Ulo clan originates from a small upstream river called the Wariori River.
That is a review of the customary schools in the Meyah tribe. Actually, this customary school is a good program to preserve the culture of traditional tribes in West Papua but modernization makes many tribes leave the school. Actually, cultural programs should be included as a lesson in public schools so that the younger generation does not forget the history of the tribe in Papua. The younger generation should be able to appreciate the culture. The younger generation will become the foundation of the future so that young people must be educated with useful knowledge for the nation.