Four Papuan Children in Jogya Start a Business of a Combination of Noken Bags and Modern Bags


PAPUADAILY –Four Papuan youths in Yogyakarta, Central Java formed Olethea (a gift from the Greek-God), a business that combines Papuan noken and modern bags. They are Claudia Aprilia Pepiana, Maria Ina Saren, Bella Batosau, and Mauren Mansnembra.

This business of combining noken and modern bags was formed with the vision of making Olethea products superior and modern, but still preserving the value of Papuan local wisdom. Especially noken Papua which has gone International (UNESCO).

The idea to form the business started with Claudia Aprilia Pepiana’s final project at the Duta Wacana Christian University (UKDW) Yogyakarta campus in 2020.

Maria Ina Saren is a colleague of Claudia’s who was met by in Jayapura, Wednesday (28/6/2021) telling about the beginning of forming Olethea.

Initially, Ina said, Maria Saren’s nickname, students at the UKDW Yogyakarta campus liked and accepted Claudia’s noken design. Finally, after the passage of time, Claudia and three other colleagues who studied together at UKDW Yogyakarta formed Olethea and started their business while still demonstrating the value of local wisdom, Noken Papua.

“It so happened that we four people just met each other, so we together and Cludia invited us to work together to start this business that combines the original noken and modern bags. We all took part in starting this business. Initially there were 5 people, but now 4 people, where is Claudia as the owner, I am marketing and public relations, Bella Batosau finance, and Mauren Mansnembra are responsible for logistics,” said Ina.

After that, his party started dancing noken craftsmen in Jayapura, especially Papuan women who knit Papuan noken. Although some of us are not native Papuans, we don’t want to just enjoy the results of Papua’s natural resources, but we want to manage them into something that can be developed and known by many people,” he explained.

The motivation to look for Papuan mothers to become craftsmen in Olethea, said Ina, is to help their economy in Jayapura, but also to maintain the quality of the noken they produce.

“After we searched, we found Mama Wantik who was willing to help us. Incidentally, Mama Wantik is just a housewife. There is indeed a fee for this noken craftsman. People often think we have expensive products, even though they don’t know we pay local craftsmen for every sheets of noken that are made. We also don’t want to lower the standard of the quality of local craftsmen’s noken, nor lower the price for sales, because we want to help their family’s economy,” he explained.

All of this, he said, only wanted to develop a more modern noken, especially not to eliminate local wisdom.

For the production, said Ina, the focus is on Badnung, West Java, but the noken are really local woven from Jayapura mamas. However, in the future it hopes that it will be produced in Jayapura, unfortunately the production costs in Jayaapura are quite expensive which will affect the selling price.

“The designs are done by Claudia. She designs a lot of bag shapes with a combination of noken which is also ready to be produced in the future and marketed. First we make a waist bag and a sling bag. There are also backpacks, but not a lot like a waist bag, because the threads we use are different and the price for backpacks is quite expensive,” he explained.

After being established, said Ina, Olethea has reached one year (2020 -2021). “During this one year, we have produced 200 pieces. In addition, we also produce sling bangs. The market itself is for all genders, from young people to the elderly.”

So far, he said, his party still sells their products offline, but has an Instagram account @sa.olethea for promotion. They have marketed to outside Papua, such as NTT, Ambon, Sulawesi, and a number of other areas in Indonesia.

“Initially we focused only on Papua, it turns out, thank God, many orders from outside Papua. If there are messages from outside Papua we send them from Bandung, while in Papua we market them from Jayapura.”

Since Olethea was established until now, the sales results, although not much, are quite helpful for the next production.

In the future, Ina said, her party has a target to find more local craftsmen so that production can be further increased. In addition, he hopes that there will be support from investors in developing Olethea in the future.

He also admitted that for now his party has joined the Papua Local market. In addition, his party hopes to join the 2021 PON committee to promote Olethea products.

“If we join the PON committee and get one stand, then we plan to produce 100 pieces. Because surely many people from outside Papua will come and can make souvenirs to return to their area. But apart from that, we also want to have it offline store in Jayapura and outside Jayapur