The Exotic Merauke


Merauke is one of sub district in Papua province, with the capital of Merauke. This district is the largest district and located in the eastern part of Indonesia, and this city is the nearest city to Papua New Guinea.

If on the eastern side of Merauke is bordered to PNG, then in the North is facing to Boven Digul and Mappi District. While in the West is bordered with the Asmat regency and in the South lies the Arafura Sea.

Merauke is being called as Kota Rusa or Deer City, because there were so many of deer in this town, after the endemic fauna in Papua like red kangaroo and Pelican.

The name Merauke is taken from the name of a river that crosses to the Southern region of Papua, which is Maro river, which is come from the phrase “Maro ka ehe liki” which means the river is called Maro.The name of Merauke occur because the misunderstandings language between the settlers (Dutch people) and Papu ethnic of Marind people (native Merauke).

The indigenous tribe in Merauke are Marind people, this tribe is consist of nine sub-tribes, which is Yeinan / Yelanim (Bupul), Kanum (sota), Nggawib (Kota Merauke), Laghub (Wendu), Malind (Kumbe), Saghuwab (Okaba), Mbian (muting), Maklew (Okaba DEG), Kimaam (P. Kimaam).

Although those tribes are having different dialects, but people can communicate among each other by using the Indonesian language as national language.

Generally, the tourism potential in Merauke can be sorted based on natural attractions, historical, and cultural. Natural attractions including beaches in the south, national parks, wildlife reserves or nature reserves, and captive breeding alligators.

On historical tourism,there are the Pepera Monument, which was symbolized the return of West Irian into Indonesia Republic. There is also a memorial entry in Merauke Catholic religion. There is also a monument which is a duplicate monument in Sabang, which is Sabang-Merauke monument. This monument is built as a symbol of the Unitary Republic of Indonesia from Sabang (Aceh) to Merauke (Papua).

For cultural attractions you can see at certain times during the ceremony, or special customs in Merauke. For instance, at every month in August there is Dambu Festival which is shown a dance and traditional wrestling.

Kimaam District is the farthest location that can be obtained from the City of Merauke. At least it takes 45 minutes by pioneer plane or 12 hours with motor boat. There is no route by road.

The most interesting when we are visiting Merauke is there are lot of Masamus that we can find. Masamus is kind of giant ant hill, the inhabitant usually called this Masamus as Rumah Semut or the Ant House. This is not particularly made by ants but it exactly made by the termite.

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